TBILISI, GEORGIA – In the wake of a devastating flood in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi more than two dozen animals from the local zoo are still roaming the city streets after heavy flooding destroyed enclosures at Tbilisi’s zoo.
Residents have been warned to stay indoors as rescue teams attempt to locate, subdue, and trap the missing animals.
Tigers, lions, bears, wolves, and at least one hippopotamus escaped, some quickly recaptured, others still unaccounted for, as the search continues.
The zoo estimated that around half of its 600 mammals, fish and birds had fled their enclosures amid the flooding from heavy rains and high winds.
Officials said the flooding in the Georgian capital was the worst natural disaster in recent memory.
Tbilisi Mayor David Narmania said on national television that 12 people had been confirmed dead so far and dozens more were missing.
“The situation is rather difficult,” Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said. “We haven’t seen anything like this in Tbilisi before.”
About 1.1 million people live in the Georgian capital.
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