A wild animal was on the loose at Tama Zoo on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan. With nets, sticks and radio's in hand, around 60 zoo staff were preparing themselves for a worst-case scenario using one of their zookeepers dressed as a zebra.
Park Director Naoki Tabata says the drill was used to raise the awareness of staff. Even though a person in zebra costume is much slower than the real thing, zoo staff said it was a valuable exercise in preparation for escapes that could happen during an earthquake.
'If something major actually happens, then of course there's the real animals. But there is a performance aspect to this, in that it's also to increase staff's awareness. If something were to actually escape then of course that would be very bad,' Tabata said. The costumed zebra, Yosuke Tanaka, drew the short straw as he was one of the newer employees.
'Every time the newest employee wears this. And so since I'm the new guy I was the one who had to do this. So if I had to say something to whoever does it next, I'd have to warn them that the inside does indeed become a bit stinky with sweat and so they should think about how to deal with that,' he advised the next costumed animal.