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Tiger kills man in downtown Tbilisi after fleeing Georgia’s flooded zoo

June 17, 2015, 13:37 UTC+3 TBILISI
The animal was shot dead in an effort carried out by the country’s special task force
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© EPA/TASS/BESO GULASHVILI/GEORGIAN PRIME MINISTER'S PRESS SERVICE/HANDOUT

TBILISI, June 17. /TASS/. A tiger who escaped from Tbilisi’s zoo after severe floods this weekend has attacked and mauled a man to death, Georgia’s Interior Ministry told TASS on Wednesday.

The white tiger was shot dead in an effort carried out by the country’s special task force. "The tiger was liquidated as a result of a special operation," the ministry said.

Georgia’s Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri said the big cat was hiding in a warehouse of a local company near the zoo in the Georgian capital when three workers entered the building to do some clean up.

"The predator attacked one of them, and the two other men ran away and reported about this to police," the minister said.

The seriously injured victim was found unconscious by the officers and later died. During the operation, the task force wanted to "put the predator to sleep, but it was very aggressive and unfortunately, there was no other way out," he said.

The heaviest ever floods hit the Georgian city on June 13-14. A total of 17 people have been killed and five others have gone missing. Yards and ground floors of over a hundred houses were flooded. The streets and squares, and roads were inundated. Dozens of families lost their houses.

The river flooded the city zoo: some animals there died, others fled the cages, including tigers and bears. Some of the animals were returned to the zoo, others were killed as they posed a threat for people in the city.

The zoo confirmed on Tuesday that there was no predator outside the facility, Gomelauri said.

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