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Funny Alert: A Japanese Zoo Uses Real People In Animal Costumes To Practice Escape Drills

Aside from actually letting a potentially ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs animal out to practice getting them back in their cage, testing it out on someone in an animal costume seems like the next best thing.

In a series of videos that have gone viral, employees of the Tobe Zoological Park in western Japan can be seen attempting to safely capture a series of people — dressed as escaped animals — as they roam across the zoo grounds.

The fake animals dive deep into their character roles, walking around aimlessly but cautiously, and even occasionally mauling a zoo employee and running off. The “ɪɴjᴜʀᴇᴅ” employees stay on the ground until they’re taken away to an emergency vehicle to be revived.

Most of the drills end the same way: zoo employees surround the animal with a makeshift fence, and the animal (again, which is a person in a costume) is tranquilized, dramatically falls to the ground, is netted, and taken away.

They’ve done this type of drill so far with a polar bear, a lion, a zebra , a gorilla , and a rhinoceros — the latter was actually two people in a costume, doubling the production value.

According to The Mainichi in Japan, the zoo is in an ᴇᴀʀᴛʜǫᴜᴀᴋᴇ-prone area, which increases the ʀɪsᴋ of enclosures being ᴅᴀᴍᴀɢᴇᴅ and animals getting out.

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