Lions, tigers, wolves and a hippopotamus are just some of the zoo escapees roaming the streets of Georgia’s capital today, after devastating floods swept the city.
As the flood’s death toll reaches 12 people, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has urged residents to stay inside until all of the animals have been found.
Special forces have had to shoot dead some of the animals – including wolves who were near a hospital – and others have been shot with tranquiliser, including a hippopotamus who was cornered in the Tbilisi streets.
The zoo grounds have been described as a “hellish whirlpool” by a Tbilisi Zoo spokesperson, Mzia Sharashidze.
Sharashidze told InterPressNews three bodies were found on the zoo grounds, with two confirmed as employees.
"The search for animals continues, but a large part of the zoo is simply non-existent. It was turned into a hellish whirlpool," she said.
"Some 20 wolves, eight lions, white tigers, tigers, jackals [and] jaguars have either been shot dead by special forces or are missing.
"Only three out of our 17 penguins were saved."
The flooding rose all the way to the top of some zoo enclosures, drowning some of the animals and sweeping others out into the streets.
Homes, roads and cars have been swept away with the floodwaters.
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