Category: Society / February 1, 2013 11:52 AM EST
A zoo in Tokyo is preparing for every zoo’s biggest nightmare, an event that lets one of their wild animals escape.
On Friday, the staff participated in a drill, to help prepare for a worst case-scenario that involves safely evacuating visitors and announcing that animals have escaped.
With the help of an employee dressed as a zebra, the zoo was able to train their staff, armed with nets and sticks, to react in the event of an earthquake that lets an animal out.
While the fake zebra is significantly slower than the real deal, the Park Director feels the drill will help raise staff awareness.
What was a routine drill for the staff was a fun spectacle to watch for visitors.
The 31-year old man who got the job of dressing up as a Zebra was picked because he was the new guy. His advice for the next employee to don the zebra costume? Be careful because it gets stinky and sweaty inside.
The hour long exercise involves over 50 staff and local emergency workers. The goal is to tranquilize the escaped zebra then safely catch him.
The zoo has held training sessions like this since 1980, when a goat used to be a proper stand in for an escaped lion.