18 Jun 2015

Tiger from flooded Georgia zoo kills man

7:37 am on 18 June 2015

A tiger that ran loose from a zoo in Georgia after disastrous floods at the weekend has killed a man in central Tbilisi.

The white tiger was killed by police.

Police deployed special forces to hunt down the white tiger. Photo: AFP

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

Police deployed special forces to hunt down the animal and it was shot dead.

The devastating floods hit the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, on Sunday, killing at least 17 people and ravaging the city's central districts including the zoo.

Hundreds of animals, including lions, tigers, wolves and a hippopotamus, escaped. Three of the dead people were found within the zoo.

Tbilisi Zoo damaged by flooding.

Tbilisi Zoo damaged by flooding. Photo: AFP

Floodwater rose to the rooftops of enclosures at the zoo. More than half the animals, about 300 species, either drowned in the muddy waters or were killed by police. Many animals were swept out of their enclosures and escaped.

A bear was found clinging to an air-conditioning unit half way up one building, while a man discovered a hyena on his balcony.

The flooding began when heavy rains caused the River Vere - normally little more than a stream - to burst its banks.

A hippopotamus walks along a flooded street in Tbilisi.

Zoo animals including this hippopotamus escaped in the floods. Photo: AFP

There was uncertainty on Wednesday about the number of dangerous animals still on the loose, with reports on Twitter of another tiger being cornered in a city centre cafe after the first was shot dead.

The zoo had said on Tuesday that all of the missing lions and tigers had been found dead, with one jaguar unaccounted for - sparking confusion when news of the tiger attack on the two men emerged.

Flooding in Tbilisi.

Torrential rain casued the River Vere to burst its banks Photo: AFP