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Tbilisi: Hunt for Zoo Animals Continues, Blame Game Begins

Sixteen-year-old Begi, the male hippo who made headlines after a June 13-14 flood left him free to waddle into Tbilisi's city center, takes it easy back at the zoo. (Photo: Monica Ellena)

Few places are as silent as a city of 1.2 million the day unknown numbers of wolves, lions, tigers and bears are reported to be at large. But now, one day after a June 13-14 flash-flood destroyed Tbilisi’s city zoo, killing some 13 people, and wiping out houses and a highway, into that silence has come a cacophony of questions.

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili has announced that an investigation will be held into the reasons for the massive damage caused by the flood, touched off when heavy rain prompted a stream that runs through a gorge in the city center to overflow.

Questions have been raised, he noted, about the way the highway that bordered the zoo – the so-called New Road, built at the end of President Mikheil Saakashvili’s administration – was constructed.
 
If the construction is found to be faulty, the question of the responsibility of “those people, who, for years, did not pay attention to the situation,” has to be asked, he stressed, Internews reported.

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Tbilisi: Hunt for Zoo Animals Continues, Blame Game Begins

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