Sunday 14 June 2015

Storm and floods free big game to wander the inundated streets of Tbilisi


Never let it be said that this blog is late with the news.

Tbilisi is possibly my favourite city in the world. A freak storm last night led the River Mtkvari to flood, left 12 dead, twice that number reported missing and cut the two halves of the city off from each other

The Tbilisi zoo was in the path of the flood. The zoo's walls fell down and the cages were broken. Three zoo workers rushed to the zoo but were drowned as they struggled to save and contain the animals. Lions, tigers, bears, wolves and a hippopotamus escaped from their enclosures. 

The report I read stated:
Last night the escaped hippopotamus made its way to what was once one the main interstate hub of the city, known as Hero’s Square. The waters have rendered the entire highway system unusable. After taking several tranquiliser darts, the hippopotamus continued to walk lethargically around the area, even eating leaves from a tree with the darts still in its neck. It was then escorted back to the zoo.
Patriarch Ilia II of the Georgian Orthodox Church has said that the Tbilisi Zoo was “founded on sin”, having been built by the Communists with the proceeds of valuables looted from the church, and this is the reason for the flood. 

I don't know about you, but I like it very much when clerics blame natural disasters on sin, even when I am thoroughly unconvinced. Too many British clergy, Anglicans but also some Catholics too, prefer to talk about global warming, rather than sin or divine wrath.

More rains are expected tonight. 


  1. First we had a flood warning (from God); now the Pope will have his say on global warming.

  2. Is it not customary to walk one's pet hippo in downtown Tblisi?

    1. The news half an hour ago: all lions, tigers accounted for after flooding of Tbilisi zoo. 8 lions, all seven of the zoo's tigers and at least two of its three jaguars were killed. One jaguar is missing presumed dead. Only two of the zoo's 14 bears survived, while nine of its 17 penguins died. 16 people died, but they died in the flood rather than being killed by big game.