In a disturbing show of mother nature, the banks of the River Vere in Georgia have burst, creating a flood that has so far, drowned hundreds of animals and killed at least twelve people.
Dozens of people have been left homeless with thousands cut off from water and electricity.
The Georgia Zoo was one of the worst locations affected, with the entire place becoming a “hellish whirlpool” when floodwater rose to the rooftops of the enclosures at the zoo, causing hundreds of entrapped animals to drown. Many of the animals were also swept out of their enclosures during flash floods and are now loose on the streets of Tbilisi.
A Tbilisi Zoo spokesperson, Mzia Sharashidze told media that three bodies had been found amongst the animals in the zoo, including two employees.
The escaped animals have made their way into the streets of Tbilisi and as such, residents are being cautioned to remain indoors until the wild animals have been captured and returned to safety.
A bear was found clinging to an air-conditioning unit half way up a building while a hippopotamus has been re-captured after being rescued from the flood waters.
There are still tigers, lions, bears and wolves missing, with helicopters in the air searching for the remaining escapees. The exact amount of animals missing is at this stage is still unclear.
Rescue workers have been battling the threat of meeting the wild animals whilst attempting to recover any survivors trapped in the wreckage.
Roads have been destroyed with small houses, cars and units, swept away by the horrific floods. The flooding has been so strong that coffins buried in the city cemetery have been unearthed and are now lying atop the muddy waters.
Rescue operations and aid are continuing within the city, as Vice-Mayor Irakly Lekvinadze has estimated the preliminary damage at $10 million.