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Thursday, June 18, 2015

flash floods in Georgia - pushes animals of Tbilisi zoo in to the city !

Animals are interesting - People throng to Zoological parks  to see and enjoy animals.  Some Zoos house animals in their natural habitats, frequented by people.  The debate of whether such natural surroundings is good in anyway would rage on.  Sometimes we read about animal escapades from their closed confines.  Away in Colombia, the hippos once owned by drug kingpin Pablo Escobar ran riot in the  countryside and could not be relocated to Zoos because of the sheer size of its population.  Thus in an unlike Country, around 200 miles of the capital Bogota, hippos roam free, and cause problems for the local community. Despite not being native to Colombia, the hippos are thriving, with females giving birth on average to a calf a year - higher than the average in Africa.

Georgia  is a country in the Caucasus region ofEurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Black Sea, Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. During the classical era, several independent kingdoms became established in what is now Georgia. After a brief period of independence following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia was occupied by Soviet Russia in 1921, becoming part of the Soviet Union as theGeorgian Soviet Socialist Republic. After independence in 1991, post-communist Georgia suffered from civil unrest and economic crisis for most of the 1990s. This lasted until the Rose Revolution of 2003, after which the new government introduced democratic and economic reforms.Tbilisi, its capital lies on the banks of the Mtkvari River.  

It is in news for wrong reasons !Heavy rains and wind hit Tbilisi  turning a normally small stream that runs through the hilly city into a surging river. The flooding also damaged dozens of houses.Cars and debris were seen floating along the once busy streets of Tbilisi which has been turned into wasteland by the freak weather.  It is estimated that the floods have caused £6.5million worth of damage.  Dozens of families are also left without shelter and thousands are without a water or electricity supply  – but this side of trouble for Zoo animals  could not be estimated !

Flash flooding in the Georgian capital has already killed up to 12 people including three who work at the zoo.  Flooding has destroyed enclosures at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia allowing more than 30 dangerous animals to roam free – the Zoo had earlier confirmed death of a keeper after being attacked by a tiger last month.  The capital of Georgia has been placed on lockdown after heavy flooding destroyed enclosures at the city's zoo allowing tigers, lions, jaguars, wolves, jackals and a hippo to escape and roam the streets.Residents in Tbilisi have been warned to stay indoors after more than 30 dangerous animals became free from the zoo after heavy rain and wind.A  mightyhippo who escaped from a zoo after flash floods is seen roaming on the streets of the Capital.   The escaped hippo was eventually cornered in the main square of Tbilisi and was subdued by being shot with a tranquiliser gun. 

Some of the animals have been seized but it is unclear how many are still on the loose.Eight bears and 20 wolves are also among the animals who fled from their enclosures as well as six tigers and six lions.It has also been reported that six wolves were killed after they were found near to a children's hospital and a video showed locals trying to save an escaped bear. Before being cornered, pictures showed the large hippo wandering along a main street among stranded cars on a dual carriageway.

Helicopters were seen  circling the city of Tbilisi, which is home to around 1.1million people, to track down all of the escaped animals.  It would indeed have been a rate sight to see a hippo darting on the road, dangerous though.  The tranquilised animal was pushed along the streets and eventually contained.  The head of the Georgian Orthodox Church blamed the floods on the 'sin' of Communists who he said built the zoo using money raised from destroying churches and melting down their bells.

Tbilisi Zoo spokeswoman MziaSharashidze said: 'Search for animals continues, but a large part of the zoo is simply non-existent. It was turned into a hellish whirlpool.  Reports suggested that many animals were seen dead on the public places while 3 out of 17 penguins were saved. People began posting pictures on Twitter of some of the other animals which are thought to have escaped.

Sadly, many of the animals which were on loose with their confines damaged have reportedly died.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
18th June 2015.

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