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Animals escape from zoo after heavy rainfall and floods kill at least eight people

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Locals try to coax a hippo back to the zoo
Locals try to coax a hippo back to the zoo

Animals including tigers, lions, bears and wolves escaped from a zoo in the Georgian capital Tbilisi last night after heavy rainfall cuased floods that killed at least eight people.

Several people are still missing after heavy rainfall turned the Vere river flowing through Tbilisi into a torrent that swept away dozens of buildings and cars.

Animals from the city's zoo including tigers, lions, bears and wolves escaped from cages damaged by the rainfall. 

"Dozens of families remain homeless as their houses were destroyed or damaged in the capital. They are some victims," vice mayor of Tbilisi Irakly Lekvinadze told reporters.

He added that a preliminary estimate put damages at about €10m.