No zoo animals roaming Tbilisi streets, meet Zoo survivors

Agenda.ge, 16 Jun 2015 - 17:18, Tbilisi,Georgia

No wild animals are on the loose in the Georgian capital. All beasts that escaped from Tbilisi Zoo during the weekend’s flooding have been accounted for.

Separate official statements from Tbilisi Zoo and the Crisis Management Team of Georgia announced Tbilisi streets were safe and free of wild animals.

"There is no threat from wild animals towards the Tbilisi population as all animals have been accounted for. This information has been double checked,” said Mindia Janelidze, head of the Crisis Management Council today.

Rescuers try to move a crocodile to safety after the Tbilisi flood. Photo by Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

This lucky crocodile was one of the two Cubic crocodiles found alive on Tbilisi Zoo territory after water levels dropped yesterday. It was trapped in mud and debris when rescuers found it and took it to safety.

Unfortunately not many animals were as lucky as the crocodiles.

A rescue operation launched immediately after the devastating flood on Saturday evening, in which it was believed about 30 zoo animals escaped from their enclosures. In the past few days only these two crocodiles, two bears, two wolves, six penguins, a hippopotamus, a baby wild boar and several birds were found alive. Many other animals were found dead at the Tbilisi Zoo territory.

A volunteer cleaner holds a penguin he found during the cleaning works near the Zoo. Photo by the Prime Minister's press service.  

This frightened penguin being cradled by the volunteer cleaner who found it, has rejoined the surviving five penguins in a temporary cage. People were encouraged to donate baby bathtubs to the Zoo to help these little creatures relax and de-stress.

Six penguins survived the disaster at Tbilisi Zoo. Photo by Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Official sources noted more than half of all the animals from Tbilisi Zoo lost their lives in the flash flood or its aftermath. Several roaming animals were killed by police as they posed a threat to Tbilisi population after escaping from the Zoo.

"Special units had to shoot several beasts as they reached the highway where there were a lot of people stuck in a traffic jam,” an official statement from the Zoo said on Monday.

Meanwhile all animals that survived the disaster were now being housed in temporary enclosures in the upper part of the Zoo. The lower part of the facility where the bears, big cats and some other large animals lived, was completely destroyed.

An ostrich from Tbilisi Zoo drowned in the massive flooding. Photo by Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Some animals lived in the upper part and were not affected by the flooding. These animals included elephants, white lions, leopards, deer, zebras, lamas, horses, yaks, a tapir, rhinoceros, civet, serval, wild goat and several birds.

Many Tbilisi locals were pleased to learn that the reptile tanks were not affected by the flood and all dangerous snakes remained locked up safely.

Tbilisi Zoo was offered international help from a number of zoos across the world, including Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and Prague Zoo.

Specialists from these too zoos have arrived in Tbilisi, and brought with them specialist equipment and experience of how to work during disasters, which they kindly shared with the Georgian side.

The main objective of the work currently being carried out by the foreign zoo experts was to prevent the spreading of any disease from the dead animals to the animals that remained alive.

Click here to see some amazing pictures of Tbilisi Zoo animals before the disaster hit the site. 

Meanwhile a charity fund to help Tbilisi Zoo has been established. The Zoo asked people to support the Zoo as it worked to clean the damaged facility, and also warned people from donating to bogus accounts that had been established since the disaster.

"Please, don't transfer any money to suspicious accounts. If you have a wish to support Tbilisi Zoo financially, please use [our] account numbers,” said the Administration.

The Zoo’s official charity fund details are below.

Meanwhile today, Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania announced a new zoo will be built in Tbilisi near Tbilisi Sea. He did not specify when this would happen but there was "no dispute” that the surviving Zoo animals need a new home, as their old one was destroyed three days ago.

The Zoo’s official charity fund details are:

For donations in GEL:

JSC "TBC Bank", Saburtalo Branch

BANK CODE - TBCBGE 22

NAME OF BENEFICIARY: TBILISIS ZOOPARKIS DAKHMAREBIS SAKVELMOKMEDO FONDI

IBAN: GE91TB7898336080100004

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FOR USD donations:

BENEFICIARY'S BANK: HEAD OFFICE SWIFT: TBCBGE22

JSC "TBC Bank", Saburtalo Branch

SWIFT: TBCBGE22838

NAME OF BENEFICIARY: TBILISIS ZOOPARKIS DAKHMAREBIS SAKVELMOKMEDO FONDI

IBAN: GE11 TB78 9833 6180 1000 05

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FOR donations in EUR:

BENEFICIARY'S BANK: HEAD OFFICE SWIFT: TBCBGE22

JSC "TBC Bank", Saburtalo Branch

SWIFT: TBCBGE22838

NAME OF BENEFICIARY: TBILISIS ZOOPARKIS DAKHMAREBIS SAKVELMOKMEDO FONDI

IBAN: GE81 TB78 9833 6180 1000 06

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