Lion Kills Man After Escaping from Georgia Zoo Amidst Heavy Flooding

(REUTERS/Beso Gulashvili)

TBILISI, Georgia (AFP) — After heavy flooding in the Georgian capitol of Tbilisi caused several dangerous animals to escape from the Tbilisi zoo, a lion has reportedly killed one man and injured another. This comes despite earlier reports that all escaped lions and tigers had been found dead. The news was first reported by Agence France-Presse early this morning.

The severe weather has devastated the Georgian capitol, destroying at least 40 homes and killing 15 people. 10 are still missing.


Along with the zoo’s big cats, several other animals escaped during the flooding. Photos show a hippopotamus, one of the most dangerous wild animals in the world, roaming the streets before being tranquilized and recaptured.

A number of bears also escaped. Only two of the zoo’s 14 bears survived the severe weather.

A bear climbs to safety from the flood-swept streets. (Photo courtesy of SKY News)
Above: a bear climbs to safety from the flood-swept streets. (Photo courtesy of SKY News)

Many of the animals perished. Mziya Sharashidze, spokesperson for the zoo, said eight lions, two jaguars, seven tigers, twelve bears, and nine penguins died, either after escaping into the city streets or suffocating to death in heavy mud that flooded their enclosures. Hundreds of stray dogs housed at a private shelter also died in the flooding.

Warning: the gallery below is extremely graphic.

As relief efforts continue, Twitter users are sharing updates with the hashtag #tbilisiflood. Natalia Antelava, a journalist in Delhi, reports locals are “furious with authorities for not making it clear animals [are] still missing after [the flood].”

No doubt residents will remain vigilant as any remaining missing animals are accounted for.

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Timothy Bertrand
Writer and journalist living in the Houston, Texas area. Follow me for breaking news, editorials, pictures of cats doing human activities, and other such content from around the web.


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