February 2, 2016 9:56 am
Updated: February 2, 2016 10:01 am

Japanese zookeeper puts on Zebra costume to stage escaping drill


Staff at a Japanese zoo staged an emergency drill on Tuesday simulating the recapture of an escaped zebra.

Onlookers took photographs as a zookeeper in a zebra costume tore down netted fences and pushed over a zookeeper before being enclosed by nets and “sedated.”

After removing the head of her zebra costume, zookeeper Yumi Tamura said the exercise had given her fresh insight into how to treat an escaping animal.

“Zebras are animals that panic easily, so when humans actually came close. I felt myself almost panicking as well. So next time, when I am on the catcher’s side, I’d like to keep that feeling in mind when dealing with animals,” she explained.

Employees at Ueno Zoo use a net to capture a mock zebra during an emergency drill, in Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. Ueno Zoo conducted the drill in scenario when a zebra escapes its cage.

AP Photo / Shizuo Kambayashi

A total of 150 zoo staff, and members of the police and fire departments participated in the biannual simulation at the Ueno Zoological Gardens in Tokyo.

The Ueno zoo has seen escaped animals in the past – including a panther, elephants and more recently monkeys.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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