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Tbilisi Zoo’s Death Toll Rises

After severe flooding swamped Tbilisi’s zoo in Georgia, many animals were wandering the streets. However, all of the lions and tigers that locals had feared were wandering the streets have been found dead with the exception of a jaguar that zoo officials are sure is dead as well.

This brings the zoo’s death toll to eight lions, seven tigers, and two jaguars. While only fourteen bears survived and over half of their penguins died. Mysteriously, their famous white lion Shumba was found shot in the head on zoo property on Sunday. Apart from him, most of the animals appear to have died when water and mud inundated their enclosures. The same can be said for a private animal shelter that lost hundreds of homeless dogs in the flood as well.

Although nothing could have prevented this, it is interesting that Tbilisi zoo had no real plan in case of any animal’s escape. And no protection put in place. It is important to remember that lions, especially the white lion, is an endangered species, and even when on the loose, should still be protected unless it is causing harm to people in the area. Hopefully the incident at Tbilisi zoo will have other zoos in the world with emergency preparedness plans for such incidents in the event that anything like this happens again. After all, when animals are kept as captive animals, it is the responsibility of the people who care for them to ensure that they are protected and cared for, taking on this responsibility means that they should be required to have proper emergency procedures in place for circumstances like this.

About Emily Hersey

Emily Hersey
Emily is an African Studies and History student who loves reading, the gym, hip hop and horses. If she's not working on her latest research project, she's definitely working towards her next trip to South Africa and doing her Master's degree there. Contact Emily: emily.hersey@youthindependent.com