Tobe Zoological Park in Ehime, Japan, gets creative with its emergency drills, and usually they are done when the park is closed to the public. But, for the first time, they held one when the park was open: an emergency drill designated to teach employees how to react in the event of a lion escaping from its exhibit.
Tobe Zoo in Aichi conducted a lion escape drill today.
Note the expression on the actual lions faces.
— Spoon & Tamago (@Johnny_suputama) June 22, 2019
As you can see, a person dressed in a smiling lion costume is casually walking up on two legs (already not realistic, but I’m being rude) to staffers as they set up giant nets to “stop” the creature, who, again, has a large smiling head. The grinning lion even “attacks” the nets, causing one of the employees to “fall” to the ground—a dangerous situation, indeed, as far as entirely fake situations go. Some confused lions watched the whole scene, which the zoo made no effort to hide. Thanks to this oversight, they are probably already planning new ways to escape.
Tobe Zoo is not the only Japanese zoo to perform drills like this. Over the years, several Tokyo zoos among others have involved staffers dressing up in a mascot outfit of whatever creature it was they were learning how to protect themselves against. And in one particularly bizarre (read: fantastic) scenario, rather than a mascot costume, a large papier-mâché rhino on a stick is carried around.
Luckily, there is no shortage of these situations on the internet—and we have compiled many of them here in one place, for your enjoyment and for mine, specifically (because I’m going to describe them, as well).
Recommended Fodor’s Video
Here we have an escaped zebra, looking around and appearing to nonchalantly take in its surroundings while walking quite slowly at staffers holding large nets and bang sticks on the ground. The nets do not secure him, and he makes it past the staffers, who seem to be rendered immobile with surprise. He then waves his arms about and picks up the pace. One of the staffers… appears to be dead.
INSIDER TIPHe’s not dead.
In this scenario, a leopard escapes and runs down a ramp hastily, as staffers, once again, have their large nets out. The leopard is stunned by a tranquilizer gun shot by a man in a tiger-striped van, which I assume is being used as some sort of psychological warfare against the leopard.
In what is absolutely the most hilarious scenario of any of these, two human beings are underneath a large—and very well made, honestly—papier-mâché rhino, who is now escaping, as well. As usual, there are nets involved, and they poke the rhino with a stick. A lot of people get on the ground and appear to… surrender (?) to the rhino and it, by the grace of god, does not step on them.
Polar Bear Escape
Our next escape involves a polar bear, and says one zoo visitor: “Polar bears are scary and if one escapes, I guess I will just have to be eaten.” Fair enough. This drill also appears to be led by a zoo staffer who genuinely looks like a sea captain.
Wow, this one is quick. You know the drill. The gorilla runs, the nets go up, and… well, this time they capture the gorilla IN the net.