After a devastating flood killed more than half of its animals, Georgia's Tbilisi zoo has reopened. Among animals greeting visitors was the hippo which had escaped to a nearby city square.
The floods three months ago in Tbilisi killed more than half of the zoo's 600 animals, including a score of tigers, lions and jaguars.
Rainstorms in June caused the Vere River to overflow, killing 19 people as water swept through neighborhoods in the capital of Georgia, the former Soviet republic in the Caucasus.
Begi, the zoo's hippopotamus had escaped during the flood. It was found walking through a flooded city square nearby.
Director of the zoo, Zurab Gurielidze, said some new animals had been born since the deluge. There are plans to acquire others by next spring. The zoo currently has 300 animals.
Only the upper section of the zoo has been restored. The lower section was overwhelmed by muddy floodwaters on June 13. There are plans to transfer the zoo to a new location but it will take many years to build the new enclosures.
jm/bw (AFP, dpa)