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Deadly zoo animals roam Georgian capital after floods kill 9 people

Zoo animals freed after deadly floods in Tbilisi

TBILISI--Deadly zoo animals were prowling the streets of Tbilisi on Sunday after floods that killed at least nine people damaged their cages, setting them free, local news agencies reported.

Tigers, lions, bears and wolves were among the more than 30 animals that escaped from the zoo in the Georgian capital overnight.

Reuters photographs showed a marksman shooting tranquilizer darts at a hippopotamus walking past shops on a mud-soaked street.

Residents were advised to stay indoors until the animals could be captured.

Heavy rains turned the Vere river that flows through Tbilisi into a torrent that swept away dozens of buildings and cars. Authorities said the damage would amount to millions of dollars.

"Dozens of families remain homeless as their houses were destroyed or damaged in the capital," deputy mayor Irakly Lekvinadze told reporters.

--Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Writing by Polina Devitt

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