Working at a zoo is bound to be interesting.

You're not just working with animals all day, but you also have to know what to do in the worst-case scenario, such as a lion escaping.


How would you know how to handle that? It's not like they'd just run a drill with a man dressed in a lion costume, right?

A video has gone viral showing an escaped lion exercise, complete with a man dressed in a lion costume.

On Saturday, the Tobe Zoo in the Ehime prefecture in Japan ran a drill for their employees about what to do if a lion should escape. One employee dressed in a lion costume prowled around the park, as others took precautionary measures.

They escorted guests to safety and put a net barricade around the "animal". Then they drove up in a van and shot the lion with a fake tranquilizer.

Finally, a group of workers wrapped the escaped lion in a net and cart him off.

Almost any still from this video is a work of art.

First, there's the ferocious lion...

@eizo_desk

...then the lion being corralled by the net...

@eizo_desk

...followed by "poke the lion from the van."

@eizo_desk

But perhaps the best shot is of these 100% unimpressed lionesses.

@eizo_desk

The video was shared by Mainichi, a Japanese news site. From there, the video was shared elsewhere online, becoming a sensation.

The viral video grew in popularity, likely from how funny it is to see a man dressed in a lion costume performing the role of escaped lion.

The fact the costume looks so happy only adds to the humor.

Despite the work of the zoo employees and the necessary nature of these drills, the fake lion didn't get all the attention. Instead, two real lions watching from the background ended up with internet fame.

Around the time the van pulls up to tranquilize the lion actor, two actual lions take interest and watch the proceedings. They don't look terribly impressed with how easily their representation goes down.

Obviously, those two would have done a much better job.




Drills like these are usually performed for the employees, with some representation of an escaped animal providing a challenge. One commenter mentioned a unique instance of his zoo catching an escaped "rhino"

The Tobe Zoo often performs these drills every year, but this was the first time they decided to hold one with guests present in the park. It's a great way to entertain, as well as show the effort workers put in to making the park safe.

It certainly helps that it was hilarious to watch.




Back in 2016, a similar incident was reported on, but became less viral. The Ueno Zoo in Tokyo had their yearly drill with an employee dressed as a zebra.

The zoo employee, Yumi Tamura, told reporters why they picked a zebra over other animals for their test that year.

"The zebra is an animal that easily panics. I myself felt panicky when acting it out."

As much as we laugh at these videos, it's important we know that there are plans in place should an animal get loose.

Or at the very least, they have things handled if sports mascots decide to turn against humanity.

Or a furry convention gets out of hand.

The antics caught on video look like something out of the Dreamworks movie franchise Madagascar. You can get all three films in one set here to enjoy another lion taking over a zoo, a safari and a circus on his way back to the zoo.

Brooke Cagle/Unsplash

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