Floods In Georgia USA Tragically Kill Many Helpless Animals

Carcasses of wild beasts that have been shot dead or killed litter the muddied streets of Tbilisi as their great escape comes to a tragic end.

Flash flooding in the Georgian capital had destroyed the animal’s enclosures at Tbilisi zoo and turned it into a ‘hellish whirlpool’, leaving them free to roam the streets in scenes reminiscent of a Hollywood disaster movie.

Today, the clean-up operation began to clear the carcasses of bears, tigers and wolves that all lay in a heap in the murky sludge of the capital city’s streets.

But there was some welcome news as the hippopotamus that was cornered and subdued with a tranquilliser gun was returned to the zoo in good health.

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A volunteer begins the clean up operation today, as workers prepare burials for three bears lying face down in the filthy mud following the flash floods in the Georgian capital 

A volunteer begins the clean up operation today, as workers prepare burials for three bears lying face down in the filthy mud following the flash floods in the Georgian capital 
The animals were able to escape their enclosures in Tbilisi zoo which were turned it into a 'hellish whirlpool', leaving bears, tigers and lions free to roam the streets in scenes reminiscent of a Hollywood disaster movie

The animals were able to escape their enclosures in Tbilisi zoo which were turned it into a ‘hellish whirlpool’, leaving bears, tigers and lions free to roam the streets in scenes reminiscent of a Hollywood disaster movie
Rescue workers drag the filthy body of a dead tiger from the street as the mass clean up operation in Tbilisi got underway today

Rescue workers drag the filthy body of a dead tiger from the street as the mass clean up operation in Tbilisi got underway today
A rescue worker heaves a tiger along by a stick - it is feared there are still zoo animals on the loose following the flash floods that destroyed the animals' enclosures 

A rescue worker heaves a tiger along by a stick – it is feared there are still zoo animals on the loose following the flash floods that destroyed the animals’ enclosures 
The mangled body of a bear lies on the sludge in Tbilisi as workers in the background prepare burials for the dead animals

The mangled body of a bear lies on the sludge in Tbilisi as workers in the background prepare burials for the dead animals

Thirteen people have already died in the flash floods, including three workers who were employed at Tbilisi Zoo.

One of them was Guliko Chitadze, a zookeeper who lost an arm in an attack by a tiger last month. The husband of zookeeper Ms Chitadze also died in the flooding.

Clean up crews today discovered the body of an elderly man in his home, the Interior Ministry confirmed.

Residents have been warned to stay indoors and particularly away from the area next to the zoo as a number of wild beasts are still unaccounted for, with fears they could be wandering the hills of the Georgian capital.

The zoo was still trying to determine what had happened to four lions, three tigers and one jaguar that escaped.

Helicopters continued to circle the city hunting for big game to track down the hungry and dangerous animals.

Residents in the Georgian capital – home to around 1.1million people – fear they might attack as they become more desperate in their search for food.

Khariton Gabashvili said: ‘The daytime wasn’t bad. But everyone has to be very careful at night because all the beasts haven’t been captured.

‘They haven’t been fed and in their hungry state they might attack people.’

Davit Narmania, the mayor of Tbilisi, called the situation ‘very grave’.

The body of a bear lies next to destroyed cars in Tbilisi after flash foods devastated the Georgian capital and led to dangerous beats on the loose in the city streets 

The body of a bear lies next to destroyed cars in Tbilisi after flash foods devastated the Georgian capital and led to dangerous beats on the loose in the city streets 
A pool of blood lies next to the body of a dead bear as workers build burials as a major clean-up operation started today

A pool of blood lies next to the body of a dead bear as workers build burials as a major clean-up operation started today
Workers haul the body of a bear out of a building following flash foods in Tbilisi that caused widespread destruction and devastation

Workers haul the body of a bear out of a building following flash foods in Tbilisi that caused widespread destruction and devastation
A man takes pictures on his camera of the bodies of two bears lying face down in the mud after animals escaped from Tbilisi zoo

A man takes pictures on his camera of the bodies of two bears lying face down in the mud after animals escaped from Tbilisi zoo
The large footprints of an animal are seen in the mud in the grounds of the Tbilisi zoo - many animals have still not yet been found

The large footprints of an animal are seen in the mud in the grounds of the Tbilisi zoo – many animals have still not yet been found
There was some welcome news today as the hippopotamus that was cornered and shot with a tranquilizer gun was safe and well

There was some welcome news today as the hippopotamus that was cornered and shot with a tranquilizer gun was safe and well
A zoo keeper feeds Begi the hippopotamus that escaped the zoo, but it now safe once again. Other animals were not so lucky

A zoo keeper feeds Begi the hippopotamus that escaped the zoo, but it now safe once again. Other animals were not so lucky
The zoo is urging that anyone who spots an animal still on the loose does not shoot it, and instead call the authorities

The zoo is urging that anyone who spots an animal still on the loose does not shoot it, and instead call the authorities

The flooding also killed about 60 of 300 homeless dogs at a private shelter near the zoo, shelter staff said. Volunteers were working at the shelter on Monday to care for the remaining dogs and repair the kennels.

Police with rifles were still searching the hills off Tbilisi above the zoo looking for the escaped animals as the remains of a hyena shot dead lay in the nearby grounds of Tbilisi State University. It had chased one of the staff, according to a police officer, who then locked himself in a shed and called for help.

There were also reports of people using their hunting rifles to shoot animals they see and the zoo has urged authorities and members of the public to spare the animals instead of shooting them.

Tbilisi Zoo director Zurab Gurielidze said: ‘In the case of a predator attacking a man, its liquidation is understandable. But many cases have to be explained.

A zoo employee touches a dead animal at a flooded zoo in the Georgian capital Tbilis.

A zoo employee touches a dead animal at a flooded zoo in the Georgian capital Tbilis.
Rescuers are still trawling through the city looking for bodies and any survivors in the disaster, which destroyed cars, roads and infrastructure

Rescuers are still trawling through the city looking for bodies and any survivors in the disaster, which destroyed cars, roads and infrastructure

‘I know for sure there was no order to kill issued. Just maybe someone has exceeded the authority.’

He demanded an investigation into the shootings of zoo animals.

‘If a predator attacked a person, then it’s understandable, but there are cases that need looking into’, he said.

A post on the zoo’s Facebook page added: ‘We beg, if somewhere you see an animal, don’t kill it. Just call us.’

Mzia Sharashidze, a spokeswoman for Tbilisi Zoo, said that ‘a large part of the zoo is simply non-existent. It was turned into a hellish whirlpool’.

She said 20 wolves, eight lions and an unspecified number of tigers, jackals, bears and jaguars had been shot dead or were still missing from the zoo. ‘Only three out of our 17 penguins were saved,’ she added.

Six wolves were shot dead at a children’s hospital yesterday, as a bear was seen clinging on for life on an air conditioning unit of a second floor building above a flooded street.

A runaway bear sits on an air conditioning unit of a second floor building above the flooded street below as rescuers in a boat look on 

A runaway bear sits on an air conditioning unit of a second floor building above the flooded street below as rescuers in a boat look on 
The tranquilised hippo is pushed along the street in Tbilisi after escaping from the zoo during flash floods in the Georgian capital - it is now safe and well and in the zoo again

The tranquilised hippo is pushed along the street in Tbilisi after escaping from the zoo during flash floods in the Georgian capital – it is now safe and well and in the zoo again
The disorientated hippo was eventually cornered in the main square of Tbilisi and was subdued by being shot with a tranquiliser gun

The disorientated hippo was eventually cornered in the main square of Tbilisi and was subdued by being shot with a tranquiliser gun
A hippo who escaped from a zoo in the Georgian capital Tbilisi after flash floods destroyed the animal's enclosures allowing them to roam the streets - residents have been urged to stayed indoors as authorities try to catch the rest of the beasts on the loose

A hippo who escaped from a zoo in the Georgian capital Tbilisi after flash floods destroyed the animal’s enclosures allowing them to roam the streets – residents have been urged to stayed indoors as authorities try to catch the rest of the beasts on the loose
A man prepares to shoot a tranquilizer dart at a bewildered hippopotamus - Tbilisi zoo has begged people to not kill the animals unless they are attacking someone

A man prepares to shoot a tranquilizer dart at a bewildered hippopotamus – Tbilisi zoo has begged people to not kill the animals unless they are attacking someone
Before being cornered, pictures showed the large hippo wandering along a main street among stranded cars on a dual carriageway 

Before being cornered, pictures showed the large hippo wandering along a main street among stranded cars on a dual carriageway 
Residents of Tbilisi were being urged to stay indoors until authorities can track down all of the dangerous animals that escaped from their pens 

Residents of Tbilisi were being urged to stay indoors until authorities can track down all of the dangerous animals that escaped from their pens 
A hippopotamus wades through the filthy street in Tbilisi as helicopters circle the city to track down all of the escaped beasts

A hippopotamus wades through the filthy street in Tbilisi as helicopters circle the city to track down all of the escaped beasts
Men help to free a hippo that became stranded in Tbilisi's flood waters by pushing it along the street. Some of the animals were captured while others were shot dead and the zoo has now begged authorities to refrain from shooting the animals 

Men help to free a hippo that became stranded in Tbilisi’s flood waters by pushing it along the street. Some of the animals were captured while others were shot dead and the zoo has now begged authorities to refrain from shooting the animals 

Heavy rain began on Saturday evening, turning the Vere river that flows through the hilly city into a surging river that swept away cars and buildings, flooded squares and damaged power lines.

They also caused a landslide on the Tskneti-Betania road outside the capital. Sixteen people were rescued by police helicopter from Akhaldaba, outside Tbilisi, where the rains had damaged roads.

Several main roads were destroyed and half a dozen coffins in a city cemetery were washed out of the ground.

Rescue workers were searching submerged buildings yesterday to check for trapped residents and the clean-up operation resumed today with people working together to dig out cars wedged in the mud and clear the carcasses of the fallen beasts.

It is estimated the floods have caused £6.5million worth of damage.

A bear takes refuge on a window ledge of a building to escape from the flood waters below after escaping from a zoo. A total of eight bears broke free from the facility after their enclosure was destroyed 

A bear takes refuge on a window ledge of a building to escape from the flood waters below after escaping from a zoo. A total of eight bears broke free from the facility after their enclosure was destroyed 
A bear tries to escape from the rising and rapid flood waters by clambering on top of debris after it broke free from Tbilisi Zoo when the animals' pens were destroyed by the water 

A bear tries to escape from the rising and rapid flood waters by clambering on top of debris after it broke free from Tbilisi Zoo when the animals’ pens were destroyed by the water 
A zebra and other animals stand on a hill outside the zoo that has been turned into a 'hellish whirlpool' and left Tbilisi on lock-down 

A zebra and other animals stand on a hill outside the zoo that has been turned into a ‘hellish whirlpool’ and left Tbilisi on lock-down 

The Georgian government declared today a day off from work and school while the search for the missing and the cleanup work went ahead in Tbilisi, a city of 1.1 million people.

Prague Zoo, which suffered from the devastating flooding that hit the Czech capital in 2002 and again in 2013, sent a team to Tbilisi today.

‘When we learned about the situation in Tbilisi Zoo, we started to work out how to help,’ Prague Zoo director Miroslav Bobek said. ‘Based on our experience with the floods, we decided to create a team of curators to travel to Georgia’s zoo to help take care of the animals.’

A rescue worker tends to the body of a lion near to a flooded area of the zoo in Tbilisi after a deluge of heavy rain and wind overnight 

A rescue worker tends to the body of a lion near to a flooded area of the zoo in Tbilisi after a deluge of heavy rain and wind overnight 
The body of a dead animal lies in the grass outside a flooded zoo in Tbilisi. Heavy flooding destroyed many of the enclosures inside the zoo 

The body of a dead animal lies in the grass outside a flooded zoo in Tbilisi. Heavy flooding destroyed many of the enclosures inside the zoo 
People began posting pictures on Twitter of some of the other animals which are thought to have escaped. This picture reportedly shows wolves in the back of a truck, that were shot dead - the zoo has now urged people not to shoot any of the escaped beasts 

People began posting pictures on Twitter of some of the other animals which are thought to have escaped. This picture reportedly shows wolves in the back of a truck, that were shot dead – the zoo has now urged people not to shoot any of the escaped beasts 
The clean-up operation began today after flash foods caused destruction in the Georgian capital and left cars upside down

The clean-up operation began today after flash foods caused destruction in the Georgian capital and left cars upside down
Hundreds of people worked together as they worked to clean a flooded area and dig out a car left submerged in the mud

Hundreds of people worked together as they worked to clean a flooded area and dig out a car left submerged in the mud
Cars and debris are seen floating along the once busy streets of Tbilisi which has been turned into wasteland by the freak weather 

Cars and debris are seen floating along the once busy streets of Tbilisi which has been turned into wasteland by the freak weather 
Heavy rains began on Saturday evening, turning the Vere river that flows through the city into a churning torrent that swept away cars and buildings, flooded squares and damaged power lines

Heavy rains began on Saturday evening, turning the Vere river that flows through the city into a churning torrent that swept away cars and buildings, flooded squares and damaged power lines

 

In a bizarre admission yesterday, the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church was quoted by the Inferfax news agency as blaming the floods on the ‘sin’ of Communists who he said built the zoo using money raised from melting down the monastery’s church bells.

Patriarch Ilia II said: ‘When Communists came to us in this country, they ordered that all crosses and bells of the churches be melted down and the money used to build the zoo.

‘The sin will not go without punishment. I am very sorry that Georgians fell so that a zoo was built at the expense of destroyed churches.’

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili sent his condolences to the victims’ families as he visited the affected area to observe the clean-up operation.

‘The human losses that we have suffered are very hard to tolerate. I express my condolences to all the people who lost their relatives’, he said.

Today has been declared a national day of mourning.

Source

Dailymail

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