An escaped tiger from the Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia mauled and killed a man in a warehouse. The White Tiger was one of hundreds of animals that broke loose after severe flooding hit the region. CS Monitor reports that the animal was shot by police hours after the incident happened Wednesday morning. It was just Tuesday that authorities said all of the zoo’s tigers had died.
Zoo Director, Zurab Gurielidze, takes responsibility for “releasing faulty information and said new counts indicated a tiger cub and a hyena could still be on the loose,” according to the report. Citizens around Tbilisi are worried, as several predators from the zoo have been spotted around the area.
“I want to offer my apology to the population,” Gurielidze said. “We had wrong information that there were no predators outside the zoo. I take full responsibility for that.”
As the Interior Ministry in the former Soviet republic explains, the escaped tiger was hiding in an abandoned factory that was turned into a construction market. A worker at the market was attacked by the White Tiger when he went to work — he was pronounced dead after succumbing to his injuries.
A colleague of the victim’s — Alexander Shavbulashvili — told the AP what occurred.
“We entered the depot and, suddenly, a white tiger rushed out of an adjacent room and attacked one of the workers, jumping at him. We broke the window of another room to flee, and the sound of breaking glass must have scared it and it ran away.”
Soon after the mauling, police arrived to shoot the zoo animal. Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri said that due to the animal’s aggressive nature, the animal had to be “liquidated.”
“It was a White Tiger. We wanted to sedate it, but it was very aggressive and we had to liquidate it.”
The zoo administration released information on Tuesday that eight lions, all seven tigers, at least two of the three jaguars, and 12 of 14 bears were killed in the flooding.
Georgia’s Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, criticized zoo officials for providing false information and ordered the interior minister to personally oversee the count of how many animals have died and how many remain missing.
Gurielidze says a tiger cub might be roaming the city streets, but claims it “poses no threat to people.”
CNN reports that the man who was killed by the escaped tiger from Tbilisi Zoo was 43-years-old. He was attacked on his throat and died before arriving at the medical facility.
There were initial reports that a second man was mauled by the escaped tiger, but after looking into it, those claims were “unfounded.”
[Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons]