Wild animals escape Tbilisi Zoo, locals urged to stay indoors

A Tbilisi Zoo bear tries to find a safer place after escaped from the flooded Zoo overnight. Rustavi 2 TV channel footage.
Agenda.ge, 14 Jun 2015 - 18:24, Tbilisi,Georgia

Several wild animals remain on the loose and people in Tbilisi are being urged to remain indoors after a major flood in Tbilisi overnight. 

In order to ensure the safety of the Tbilisi population, rescue teams have been mobilised to capture the wild animals that managed to escape from Tbilisi Zoo over night. Several animals are still roaming free in central streets of Georgia's capital.

At today's Government meeting Georgia's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said some of the wild animals have been euthanised and others had been killed.

The Zoo Administration said 20 wolves, eight lions, white tigers, tigers, hyenas, jaguars and seven bears had escaped the Zoo but some of them had already been captured or killed. Only three penguins survived out of 17. A hippopotamus has already be returned to the Zoo after roaming in nearby Heroes Square. 

Heavy rain last night caused a major flash flood, which damaged animal enclosures and allowed the animals to escape. 

The animals living in the upper side of the Zoo survived the flood, including snakes, elephants, deer, ponies and more.

Georgia's PM said special services employees were doing their best to find the animals that had escaped and return them to their rightful home. He urged Tbilisi residents not to walk in the city and especially in the territory where the disaster happened. Garibashvili urged the Tbilisi population to dial 112, Georgia's Emergency Response Centre, if they saw any wild animal.

Meanwhile, Georgia's Patrol Police have restricted traffic movement on several main roads in Tbilisi.

Garibashvili also called the Tbilisi residents to refrain from driving in the near future so the roads can remain relatively free and rescuers can complete their operations.