Zoo Animals Are on the Loose in Georgia


In the wake of a devastating flood in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on Saturday, more than two dozen animals from the local zoo are still roaming the city streets after their enclosures were destroyed amidst the heavy rains and rising water levels. Though the exact number of missing animals is unknown,

The New York Times

is reporting

that “Helicopters were swooping low over the city to try to spot the animals. Those missing after the flood included 20 wolves, eight lions, and several tigers and jaguars.” Residents have been warned to stay indoors as rescue teams attempt to locate, subdue, and trap the missing animals. Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania is

describing the situation

as “very grave” while Mzia Sharashidze, the Tbilisi Zoo’s spokeswoman, told the InterPressNews that the zoo has been turned into “a hellish whirlpool.” So far, the disaster has claimed the lives of 12 people (including three at the zoo) and left dozens homeless. Individuals and the media have taken to Twitter to capture some of the amazing and heartbreaking images of what’s happening in the city that nearly 1.2 million people call home.