In Depth

Georgian boy runs away to the zoo only to find it closed

Dato Nozadze's adventure has happy ending as Tblisi zoo gives him year-long pass

A 10-year-old Georgian boy who sneaked out from his parents house and travelled some 130km (80 miles) on a train on his own to see the animals in Tblisi zoo - only to find it was closed - has been gifted a year’s pass to the attraction.

Dato Nozadze had hoped to get his first glimpse of the wild animals but “was left disappointed when he found the zoo had closed for the day,” local Georgian media reported.

A police patrol “later noticed him wandering alone on a street, contacted his parents, and returned him to his home in the central Georgian town of Khashuri,” says the BBC.

But the next day the Tbilisi Zoological Park decided to honour his “special love of animals,” according to a post on the zoo’s Facebook page.

The following day, the same police officers “returned to Dato's house to bring him back to the zoo to see the animals and receive his pass,” the Netgazeti website reported.

Dato “was given a personal tour of the zoo by its director Zura Gurielidze, and got to feed the lemurs, elephants, camels and alpacas,” Liberali magazine website said.

According to the BBC, many on Georgian social media found the story touching. "A real adventure for the little boy. He is a little dreamer," said one user on Facebook.

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