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Georgia: Tbilisi city hunt as zoo animals flee floods

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People help a hippopotamus after it escaped from a flooded zoo in Tbilisi, Georgia

People help a hippopotamus after it escaped from a flooded zoo in Tbilisi, Georgia

AP

A bear tries to save itself from a flooded zoo area

A bear tries to save itself from a flooded zoo area

AP

A municipal worker sits near the body of a lion

A municipal worker sits near the body of a lion

AP

People help a hippopotamus after it escaped from a flooded zoo in Tbilisi, Georgia

Severe flooding in the Georgian capital has left at least 12 people dead and triggered a big-game hunt across the city for lions, tigers, a hippopotamus and other dangerous animals that escaped from Tbilisi's ravaged zoo.

Residents were warned to stay indoors as police conducted the hunt, but fear deepened as night fell on the city of 1.1 million with some of the animals, also including bears, wolves and monkeys, still on the loose.

"The daytime wasn't bad," said resident Khariton Gabashvili last night, "but tonight everyone has to be very careful because all the beasts haven't been captured. They haven't been fed, and in their hungry state they might attack people".

Heavy rain turned a normally pleasant city stream into a fierce torrent that destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes in the former Soviet republic.

Officials said 12 people were known to have died with about two dozen missing.

Belfast Telegraph


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