Heavy floods in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi have killed 12 people – and bears, tigers, lions, hyenas, crocodiles, wolves, and a hippopotamus have escaped from the Tbilisi Zoo and began roaming the streets of the capital on Sunday.
After the chaotic incident, Georgian officials began issuing warnings for people to stay inside their homes and avoid the zoo animals they may come in contact with.
According to the BBC, three people were discovered dead at the zoo.
The escaped animals added to the already dire situation in Georgia caused by the floods, and rescue efforts of people trapped in flooded areas were greatly hindered by them.
Some of the animals were shot and killed by police officers during the rescue process because no tranquilizer guns were apparently available to subdue them. The animals killed included a bear, a lion, and a hyena that had chased a security guard across a university campus.
This flood is reportedly the worst natural disaster the Georgian capital has seen in recent history.
“The situation is rather difficult, we haven’t seen anything like this in Tbilisi before,” said Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.
Many of the zoo’s animals also perished or are still missing.
[Image: Beso Gulashvili/Reuters]