WATCH: Japanese zoo practices snow leopard escape drill

A zoo in Japan takes their escape drills very seriously.

The Tama Zoo in Tokyo and its sister Ueno Zoo have been holding animal escape drills every year where a staff member dresses up as an animal on the loose.

This year, a staff member dressed up as a snow leopard in a mascot costume, complete with cartoon head and fuzzy tail.

Seventy other staff members attempted to capture the wild cat with nets, poles and tranquilizer guns.

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At one point, it seemed like the capture was nearly complete when suddenly the leopard attacked a staff member, escaping the nets.

“We focused on making this drill as realistic as possible,” said the zoo’s director Yutaka Fukada. “One of our staff being knocked down, injured and then being knocked unconscious and going into cardiac arrest was a part of that.”

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The sneaky snow leopard jaunted through the zoo until it was shot by a tranquilizer dart.

After a couple of prods to ensure that the leopard was unconscious, zoo staff carefully wrapped it in nets to complete the capture.

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“In the event of a big earthquake, a tree could fall on a cage, or many other things could occur that may lead to an animal escape,” said Fukuda.

“We think it is very important, and it is our responsibility to carry it out with seriousness.”

In past years the zoo has practiced drills for escaped zebras, rhinos and gorillas.

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