TBILISI (AFP) - Lions, tigers, bears and other animals escaped from their zoo enclosures and roamed Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, on Sunday after flooding that killed at least eight people, officials said.
"At least eight people died" in the flood, Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri told Georgia's Rustavi 2 television. An unnamed official quoted by the channel said the toll later rose to nine.
The Vere river burst its banks in central Tbilisi after hours of torrential rain, turning streets and squares into raging streams, sweeping away cars and flooding houses. Dozens of families were left without shelter and thousands without water and electricity supply in the city of 1.2 million, the mayor's office said.
Animals including tigers, lions, jaguars, bears, and wolves escaped from cages in the flooded Tbilisi zoo. Some of them were captured by police while others were shot dead, according to the mayor's office.