Since Sunday, the residents of the town of Tbilisi in Georgia has been occupied by both people and escapees from the Tbilisi Zoo after severe flooding set hippos, tigers, and other critters loose from their cages.
On Wednesday, more fatal consequences of that flood that has already left 20 people dead after the sudden deluge and another six missing.
A man in his 40s was reportedly killed by a tiger on the loose. That tiger, tracked down later to an unused storage room, was later gunned down by authorities.
Other animals may still be on the loose. The tiger reportedly attacked the man and two others around midday as he and two others entered a flood-damaged building near Tbilisi’s central Heroes Square, a few hundred metres from the zoo.
Amid scenes of panic on Wednesday, police swarmed the area and officers from the “Special Tasks” department of Georgia’s Interior Ministry surrounded the big cat inside a complex of repair garages and warehouses.
Initial reports had said it was a lion.
About an hour and a half after the attack, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said the rare white tiger had been “liquidated”. The big cat was shot “as it tried to attack one of the officers”, said another official. He added “they had no possibility of using a tranquilizer”.