MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida wildlife expert spoke about the devastating sight in the main square in the former Soviet country of Georgia as a hippopotamus roamed free.READ MORE: Marching With Pride, A Thousand Miami-Dade JROTC Cadets Took Part In 'Pass In Review'
“Looking at the images, they’re overwhelming… hippo in the street and see people pushing the hippo until I looked closer and saw a dart. It had been tranquilized. Bottom line, the hippos kill more people in Africa than all other animals that exist there,” said wildlife expert Ron Magill with Zoo Miami.
That hippo was just one of hundreds of animals that escaped a zoo in Georgia after massive flooding destroyed the area and their enclosures.
Soldiers surrounded the animal and eventually subdued it with a tranquilizer.
A bear was also spotted hanging on top of an air conditioning unit.READ MORE: '17 Days Of Celebration' Kicks Off Honoring Victims Of Parkland School Shooting
Magill says the conditions these animals are dealing with makes them even more dangerous when they are afraid.
“If I had to put a human emotion on these animals there’s nothing they would want more than for it to be three days ago, back in their enclosures where they find their security,” said Magill.
The floods damaged hundreds of homes, left piles of debris and flipped over vehicles burying them in the mud.
A stream in the city became a raging deadly river. Rescuers in boats helped people who became trapped as the muddy water rose and those who still had a home were told to stay inside as a precaution not only from the flood but from the wild animals.
“As cold as it may seem coming from me, I’ve dedicated by whole life to animals. Bottom line is we need to be really concerned about these people. The animals will be able to survive,” said Magill.
Of the zoo’s 600 residents, including fish and birds, about half were still missing on Sunday.MORE NEWS: Cold Weather Coming, Protect The Four P's: People, Pets, Plants, Property
Some animals have been recaptured while others have been killed. Three zoo workers are among the dead but they were not victims of animal attacks.