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Escaped Zoo Tiger Kills Man in Georgia

  • VOA News

Tiger, which broke loose after recent severe flooding at the Tbilisi zoo, was shot by Georgian police, after killing a man, June 17, 2015.

Tiger, which broke loose after recent severe flooding at the Tbilisi zoo, was shot by Georgian police, after killing a man, June 17, 2015.

A tiger that escaped a flood-ridden zoo in Georgia's capital Tbilisi, has been shot dead by police after it attacked and killed a man on Wednesday.

The animal was one of several to break free from enclosures at Tbilisi Zoo several days ago following severe flooding.

Zoo officials also came under fire for announcing Tuesday that all the animals were accounted for. The zoo administration also said eight lions, all its seven tigers, at least two of its three jaguars and 12 of 14 bears were killed in the flooding.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili criticized zoo officials for providing false information and ordered the interior minister to personally oversee the count of how many animals have died and how many remain missing.

"I want to offer my apology to the population,'' he said.

Tbilisi streets on Sunday turned into a big game park after lions, bears, crocodiles and hyenas went on the loose from the flood-damaged zoo. Many of the animals were shot. The luckier ones were recovered and returned to the zoo, including a hippopotamus subdued with a tranquilizer dart.

Zoo director Zurab Gurielidze acknowledged he was to blame for releasing faulty information and said new counts indicated a tiger cub and a hyena could still be on the loose. The city has remained on edge, with runaway predators reportedly seen by some residents.

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