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Escaped Tiger Kills Man Following Floods in Tbilisi

An official confirmed the animal had been “liquidated” after killing the victim. The big cat was hiding in Georgia's capital after escaping from a zoo after severe flooding at the weekend.

by VICE News
Jun 17 2015, 12:30pm

Imagen por Vakhtang Gomelauri/Facebook

A man has today been killed by one of seven tigers that escaped from a zoo in the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia after severe flooding swept through the capital city Tbilisi last weekend.

The country's Interior Ministry said police officers then shot the big cat, which was hiding at an abandoned factory turned into a construction market when it attacked on Wednesday. Ministry spokesperson Vakhtang Gomelauri said: "We wanted to sedate it, but it was very aggressive and we had to liquidate it."

Alexander Shavbulashvili, a colleague of the victim, explained: "We entered the depot and, suddenly, a white tiger rushed out of an adjacent room and attacked one of the workers, jumping at his throat and mauling him.

"We broke the window of another room to flee, and the sound of breaking glass must have scared it and it ran away."

Video via Facebook/Giorgi Devadze.

These videos shows the tiger being carried away by authorities.

Tbilisi zoo had previously said all lions and tigers missing after the flooding had been found dead and only one jaguar remained unaccounted for.

On Tuesday zoo officials said eight lions, all seven of the zoo's tigers, and at least two of its three jaguars were killed in the flooding in Georgia's capital caused by heavy rains over the weekend.

An intense downpour that began late on Saturday turned a stream that runs through the city into a raging torrent that destroyed houses and tore up roads. About 40 families lost their homes.

Related: Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves, and a Hippo Run Wild in Tbilisi After Floods Damage Zoo

At least 19 people died in the floods, including three zoo workers, according to the Associated Press. One of the zoo workers killed was Guliko Chitadze, who lost an arm in a tiger attack just last month.

Residents had to stay inside as the animals roamed the streets. A hippo was shot with a tranquilizer dart in Tbilisi's main square before being recaptured.

Pictures and video footage from of the scene showed a bear cub on the second story ledge of a building trying to avoid rushing water below and a crocodile cruising down a flooded street. Six wolves were seen near a children's hospital, according to the New York Times.

AFP cited another zoo spokesperson as saying that 20 wolves, eight lions, and an unspecified number of tigers, jackals, and jaguars had been shot dead by special forces or were missing. "Only three out of our 17 penguins were saved," she reportedly said.

A team of vets from Israel and volunteers from the Czech Republic traveled to Georgia to help save animals and restore infrastructure at the zoo, reported the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

Related: Marijuana Protest Raves May Actually Help Change Georgia Drug Policy

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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