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Zoo animals roam streets after flooding in Tbilisi

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Posted at 10:57 AM, Jun 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-15 10:57:00-04

Flooding has killed at least 12 people in the former Soviet country of Georgia.

Residents there are also dealing with another threat – zoo animals roaming the streets after their enclosures were washed away.

It was a strange sight in a main square in the capital of Georgia on Sunday, as a hippopotamus roamed free.

It also spent some time under an overpass.

Soldiers surrounded the animal and eventually subdued it with a tranquilizer gun.

A bear was also spotted hanging out on top of an air conditioning unit.

A helicopter flew over the zoo that flooded in Tbilisi.

The rushing water destroyed enclosures, allowing more than 30 animals including tigers, lions and wolves to escape.

Some were captured or killed, but it’s unclear how many are still on the loose.

Residents were asked to stay inside as a precaution.

Overnight, a stream in the city became a raging deadly river.

Rescuers in boats helped people who became trapped as the muddy water rose.

The floods damaged hundreds of homes, left piles of debris in the streets, and flipped over vehicles, burying them in mud.

Roads were left with gaping holes.

Teams of residents are joining the cleanup to get this city of more than one million people back to normal as soon as possible.