Target: Vakhtang Gomelauri, Georgian Minister of Internal Affairs
Goal: Dismiss officers accused of unnecessarily shooting escaped zoo animals.
Flooding in the city of Tbilisi, Georiga caused many of the city’s zoo animals to escape onto the streets of the surrounding residential areas, and since then, officers have been reported shooting the escaped animals despite having other options for containment.
Half of the zoo animals are either missing or dead from flooding or gunshots. Policemen were brought in to contain them and handle the situation to keep both people and animals safe. Zoo staff and citizens have been telling stories that show a lack of preservation tactics from some of the officers involved in trying to remove the animals from the streets.
Witnesses report that officers have been taking photographs of themselves with dead animals similar to trophy hunters. Another report was of an officer shooting a wolf that had already been tranquilized and could have been easily transported. Only three of the original twenty wolves in the zoo have survived and been returned alive.
Tigers, lions, bears and a hippo also either drowned or were shot by police after the flood occurred. A white lion cub that had been in the care of zoo veterinarians since it was born was also shot, and while it was stated he was drowning and they were trying to be merciful, some of his caretakers disagree that lethal action was necessary. The zoo has reported that all seven of its tigers are dead.
These animals are wild animals that were put into captivity by humans in a zoo in a residential area. The alleged actions from officers that have caused many exotic and rare animals to die should be thoroughly investigated and any officer found of killing one of these creatures when nonlethal force could have been used should be dismissed immediately from the force and tried for animal cruelty.
Dear Minister Gomelauri,
After the flood hit the city of Tbilisi and caused many animals to escape from the zoo, reports of officers using lethal actions against zoo animals have been coming out from citizens and zoo staff. The flood overall was a tragedy that will take time from Tbilisi to recover from, but the officers who took the lives of animals that had escaped need to be investigated thoroughly.
These wild animals were entrusted to be properly cared for by the zoo and the city, and they were as frightened when they escaped onto the streets as the people. With half of the zoo animals reported dead or missing, and many people saying that they were shot on the streets without the use of tranquilizer guns, this is a serious loss of a collection of beautiful wild animals.
The deaths of every animal that was shot by officers should be investigated, and if it is found nonlethal force could be used the officers responsible should be punished in accordance with Georgia’s laws for animal cruelty and wildlife preservation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Chi King