Escaped tiger from flooded Georgia zoo kills man

Zoo4ReutersA man shoots a tranquilizer dart to put a hippopotamus to sleep at a flooded street in Tbilisi, Georgia, June 14, 2015.

Tbilisi (AFP) – A tiger that escaped from a zoo in the Georgian capital during freak floods at the weekend killed a man in the city centre on Wednesday, an interior ministry spokeswoman said.

“A tiger from the Tbilisi zoo killed a man” near the capital’s central square, the spokeswoman told AFP.

“Police special forces were deployed and are hunting down the animal.”

Georgian media said the tiger had been hiding in a warehouse and escaped the citywide police search for the escaped animals, many of which were shot dead.

Floods hit Tbilisi on Sunday, killing at least 17 people and ravaging the city’s central districts including the zoo, where hundreds of animals — including lions, tigers, wolves and a hippo escaped.

More than half of the animals — some 300 species — either drowned in the muddy waters or were killed by police.

Note: Original reports that it was an escaped lion that killed the man have since been corrected by Georgian officials. It was a tiger, not a lion.

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