LION, TIGERS, AND A HIPPO: Animals Roam Free as Flood Destroys Zoo

HippoOne Orthodox church says because the zoo was built under communist regime, where churches were destroyed to pay for the park, they’re not that sad to see it go.

TBILISI, Georgia — Tigers, lions, a hippopotamus and other animals have escaped from the zoo in Georgia’s capital after heavy flooding destroyed their enclosures, prompting authorities to warn residents in Tbilisi to say inside Sunday. At least 12 people have been killed in the disaster, including three zoo workers.

An escaped hippo was cornered in one of the city’s main squares and subdued with a tranquilizer gun, the zoo said. Some other animals also have been seized, but it remained unclear how many are on the loose. Bears and wolves are also among the animals who fled from their enclosures amid the flooding from heavy rains and high winds.

There were no immediate reports that any of the fatalities were due to animal attacks. The zoo said one of the dead was Guliko Chitadze, a zookeeper who lost an arm in an attack by a tiger last month.

As of mid-afternoon Sunday, it was unclear how many animals remained on the loose or what species they are.

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