SOCIETY
Monument of famous hippo Beggi to be set up in Tbilisi as a symbol of June 13 tragedy
14 June, 2018
The monument of Beggi the hippo will be erected in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi, as a symbol of one of the most tragic dates in recent history of Georgia – devastating flood that occurred on June 13, 2015.

Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Sophio Khuntsaria made the statement at the event held in Mziuri Park, in a memory of June 13 tragedy.

According to her, the special awards carrying the names of volunteers who worked together after flooding to help the rescuers will be
established. Ordinary citizens united around one goal worked hard to find the bodies of the perished people, animals of Tbilisi Zoo and clean the streets of the city from mud and garbage.

The author of the Beggi the hippo monument is Nikusha Shengelaia, while the idea will be embodied by Levan Vardosanidze.
geotv.ge
Beggi the hippo escaped from Tbilisi Zoo. June 13, 2015. Photo courtesy National Geographic Georgia

“On the second day after June 13 tragedy, the whole world was talking about the hippo, walking strolling in Tbilisi streets. Somehow, the resident of Tbilisi Zoo survived the devastating flood while most of the inhabitants of the zoo fell victim to disaster. The hippo called Beggi became the symbol of the tragedy that is the reason why Tbilisi City Hall decided set up his monument as a reminder of June 13, 2015. Additionally, we decided to adopt the award of the volunteers who fought against the disaster with bare hands during June 13 events. We will hand it over to other volunteers who will care about Tbilisi,” Sophio Khuntsaria noted.
geotv.ge
Rescues try to bring Beggi the hippo back to the zoo. June 13, 2015. Photo courtesy National Geographic Georgia

A devastating flood occurred in the Vere River valley in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, on the night of 13 to 14 June 2015. It resulted in at least 20 human deaths and struck the Tbilisi Zoo, leaving half of its animal inhabitants either dead or on the loose.

The Vere, a right tributary of the Mtkvari, runs through Tbilisi's Vake and Saburtalo neighborhoods. It is characterized by periodic flash floods, which had turned this normally small stream into a surging river, causing significant flooding in 1960, 1963, 1972, and 1995. In 1972, it resulted in several fatalities and completely flooded the Tbilisi Zoo.
geotv.ge
The monument of Beggi the hippo will be erected in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. Photo courtesy Tbilisi City Hall

The Tbilisi Zoo lost more than 300 animals, nearly half of its inhabitants: the majority was killed by flooding. Several surviving inhabitants of the zoo—a hippopotamus, big cats, wolves, bears, and hyenas—escaped from destroyed enclosures and cages to the streets of Tbilisi and a police unit was employed to round them up. Some were unfortunately killed, others were recaptured and brought back to the zoo.

First photo courtesy: National Geographic Georgia

Related stories:

Three years from Tbilisi devastating flood - June 13 tragedy

Disaster that changed the life of Tbilisi - 2 years from June 13 flood

Unbelievable coincidence – River Vere claimed lives on June 13, 1924 as well

The Heroes of June 13th

The nightmare of June 13
Print