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Pictures: Chaos in Georgia as heavy flooding lets zoo animals loose on the streets

At least eight people have died in the disaster.

Updated at 8pm

TIGERS, LIONS, A hippopotamus and other animals have escaped from the zoo in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi after heavy flooding destroyed their enclosures, prompting authorities to warn residents to say inside today.

At least eight people have been killed in the disaster, including three zoo workers, and 10 others are missing.

An escaped hippo was cornered in one of the city’s main squares and subdued with a tranquilizer gun, the zoo said. Some other animals also have been seized, but it remained unclear how many are on the loose.

Bears and wolves are also among the animals who fled from their enclosures amid the flooding from heavy rains and high winds.

There were no immediate reports that any of the other fatalities were due to animal attacks. The zoo said one of the dead was Guliko Chitadze, a zookeeper who lost an arm in an attack by a tiger last month.

Heavy rains and wind hit Tbilisi during the night, turning a normally small stream that runs through the hilly city into a surging river. The flooding also damaged dozens of houses.

Georgia Flooding Locals looing at the remains of Tbilisi's flooded zoo today Source: AP/Press Association Images

Georgia Flooding The escaped hippo being subdued with tranquiliser darts Source: AP/Press Association Images

City mayor David Narmania told journalists that eight people were known to have died and 10 others were missing.

Helicopters are circling the city and residents have been told to stay indoors except in an emergency.

About 1.1 million people live in the former Soviet republic’s capital.

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