Tiger, which attacked and killed a man in the center of Tbilisi, was shot by the police, June 17, 2015. Photo: Interior Ministry.
A white tiger, which attacked and killed a man in the center of Tbilisi, has been “liquidated”, according to the Interior Ministry.
The animal, which was on the loose from the flooded zoo, attacked the man close to Heroes Square, not far from the zoo, near an area where a swimming pool, Laguna Vere, was previously located.
The incident occurred about 24 hours after Secretary of the State Security and Crisis Management Council Mindia Janelidze said on June 16 that there were no animals on the loose and “wild animals pose no threat to the people.” A similar statement was also made late on June 15 by PM Irakli Garibashvili.
The incident occurred inside a building, which serves as a storehouse.
“Workers were clearing the storehouse when they were attacked by the white tiger; some [workers] managed to escape,” one of the workers and an eyewitness said.
“The man in his 40s was already dead when brought to hospital,” Avtandil Imedadze, head of the Republican Hospital in Tbilisi, said.
Armed law enforcement officers were deployed in the area and several shots were heard coming from the scene.
“The animal was aggressive and it had to be liquidated,” the Interior Ministry said.
At about noon of June 16 Secretary of the State Security and Crisis Management Council, Mindia Janelidze, said: “Yesterday the administration of zoo reported – and this information was verified and confirmed today – that all the animals that were on the loose from the zoo are either recaptured or found drowned or killed. Therefore I want to tell the people that at this stage wild animals pose no threat.”
Late on the evening of June 15 PM Irakli Garibashvili said while speaking at a meeting of emergency response headquarters: “Several drowned lions, wolves and bears were found as a result of clearing up works. According to the information provided by the administration of zoo, various reports and photos disseminated on social networking sites and by some news agencies about wild animals being spotted in the streets of Tbilisi are not true. Also, according to the information received from the zoo administration, not a single animal remains outside the limits of the zoo and the population has no reason to panic.”
But a spokesperson of the zoo, Mzia Sharashidze, told journalists on June 16 that at least one tiger, as well as a striped hyena and a bear were remaining unaccounted for.