TOKYO, Japan – At the Ueno Zoo in Japan, animal escapes can happen at any time. That’s why zookeepers are staging an emergency drill in case a gorilla escapes after an earthquake.
A staff member, dressed in a full gorilla suit, pretended to run through the zoo while the rest of the staff following behind with a net to capture the gorilla and simulate sedating it.
More than 150 staffers, plus Tokyo Police and Fire Departments joined the drill.
Toshimitsu Doi, the zoo’s director, said the drill was successful and stressed the importance of being preparing for the unexpected.
“When you’re doing everyday work as part of a routine, you forget what it’s like when something out of the ordinary happens,” he said. “It’s important to take these opportunities to remember what needs to be done.”
The Ueno Zoo has had escape scares in the past, the most recent being a monkey that escaped from its enclosure in 2010.
It holds “animal escape” drills every two years. Previous drills have included the simulated escapes of a rhinoceros and a tiger.