The Flood and the Escaped Zoo Animals (Tbilsi, Georgia)

If you’re not updated with the news, there’s been a massive flood in Tbilisi and over 30 predators have been reported missing from the Tbilisi zoo. The situation is “grave”.

It all started the night two days back when it rained so heavily that it felt like the sky was having a big breakdown and crying down all the tears it never did. Watching from the eleventh floor, the rain was beautiful but what made me pull the blinds down was the lightening that split the sky. My friend, who enjoys watching the light streaks on the sky sat in her room letting the flashes entertain her. I sat with her for a moment, and together we had a conversation about imaginary boyfriends and moved on to have the caramel pudding we had in the fridge. So, three of us ate the pudding, talked of lightening and rain and told stories, and I went back to my books, my friend to a movie, and the other gave in to sleep. The rain calmed at about 02:00am and I went to sleep a little later.
When I woke up yesterday morning and went through my facebook news feed, there were shared links of floods in Tbilisi and escaped Zoo animals. At first it made me laugh because “zoo” or “zu” are names I’ve come to make my own here. I thought someone was pulling a prank on me, but that was before I read the details or noticed all the helicopters circling around the area. Over 30 predators escaped from the Tbilisi zoo, which only happens to be two metro stations away from where I live. The last time I checked online the causalities had been counted to 12 (including the 3 zoo keepers), and 24 people were missing. Quite a number of houses flooded, massive destruction around the areas of the river and a devastated city of mud, muck, broken buildings and escaped animals.
Facebook was filled with images of lions and cheetahs and wolves roaming the street, and even a bear hanging onto an air-conditioning unit somewhere, a hippopotamus stopping by to eat some leaves off a tree, and a cat riding on the back of a dog as he walked through the flooded city to reach dry ground. Though we all saw how grave this situation was, with people afraid of their lives and having lost so much already, it had it’s own sense of adventure to it. It was mixed emotions everywhere. There were the jokes of “we found an elephant” with a picture of a friend, and a hoard of comments about how another friend called himself the hippo eating leaves off trees, and someone who even saw beauty with the cat and dog story and referred to Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World’. Then there were the videos clips from news channels all over the world, a few in English and loads more in Georgian and Russian. Jurassic Park references to “If something chases you, RUN” and Jumanji-like horror moments of “how did all the animals escape?!” Among the people affected, were people I know as well. All in all, we being people living in Tbilisi were as amused and confused and scared (and deeply saddened) by the event as those around the world. We were asked to keep indoors so the internet and friends were the only source of information we had.
With animals on the run and an entire day dedicated to watching the helicopters flying parallel to me, I still had a midterm to study for the next day. I was occupied, and by the end of the day it was announced that the following day (today) has been declared a holiday for safety reasons. That gave me a break from the books but in the sad and grave situation, my prayers are with those affected. All the people who lost their lives, homes, loved ones  or personal belongings.. I pray for them to remain strong. The zoo keepers who lost their lives, I see them heroes in my eyes for all their devotion to the animals in all the previous years. The animals themselves, who tasted the first bite of freedom only to be brought back down again, my heart mourns for them.. for they are no less than we humans and this is as bad on them as it is on all of us. They are lost, and confused and in a territory they have never set foot on before. They may harm the people they come to face but they wouldn’t do so on purpose so please try and keep your emotions in check. I hope everyone out there finds some hope to hold on to while the world seems to come crashing down all around them, and I pray for them to make it through this. In the meantime, let’s help in all the ways that we can and stay away from trouble’s way.
Stay Safe everyone, Tbilisi or not.
The wild animals are on the loose, and sometimes they walk on two feet and talk.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Imperfect Picture
    Jun 15, 2015 @ 09:25:05

    Love the last line. Can not agreed with you more on that part.


  2. Imperfect Picture
    Jun 15, 2015 @ 09:42:08

    Yeah it is. how devastating.
    It’s such a crime to have them locked up in zoos.


    • iwasneverheard
      Jun 15, 2015 @ 09:58:00

      It is. They spend their entire lives locked up and the moment they think they’ve got their space in the world, they are brought down again. It’s a sad world indeed.


      • Imperfect Picture
        Jun 15, 2015 @ 10:57:42

        Did you see them trying to get the bear? that poor thing, felt soil and fresh air and new scents for the first time in probably a long time. Do you know if the animals were shot or just tranquilized?

      • iwasneverheard
        Jun 15, 2015 @ 11:30:38

        Some of them were tranquilized.. like the hippo that’s going viral. A few, unfortunately, were shot down. A lot more are still uncaptured. They’ve been on look out this whole time. Copters moving around the whole time and all that.. and all of us stuck indoors.

      • Imperfect Picture
        Jun 15, 2015 @ 11:48:08

        Oh yeah you live in the area! As a community, can’t you guys do something regarding the killing? its really heartbreaking to watch!

      • iwasneverheard
        Jun 15, 2015 @ 12:02:32

        I think they’re trying not to kill anymore, now that the people are under control. I sure am hoping so!

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