This kind of "escape" is pretty fun. Screen capture Guardian News via YouTube

Japanese Zookeepers Dress up as Animals for Escape Training — and It’s Hilarious (Video)

The very best jobs are the ones that allow workers to use their imaginations to make their workplace a happier and safer place. We can’t wait to show you that that’s exactly what these zookeepers in Japan are doing.

Will this escaped “chimp” evade his keepers? Screen capture by Guardian News via YouTube

And they are doing it for a very important reason!

Moving and Shaking

Japan is a land of earthquakes, The Guardian notes. The zoo needs to keep both their precious animals and zoo-goers safe.

So, Tobe zookeepers practice by chasing their colleagues who are dressed as a lion, a zebra, a tiger, a rhino and other zoo animals all over the grounds. And their antics are pretty funny to watch!

Like this ‘lion’ escape, for instance

Looks like zookeepers “darted” this “lion.” Screen capture courtesy of Guardian News via YouTube.

At first, it looks like the lion is gaining the upper paw but all that changes in a jiffy when the captors — armed with a net and a long pole — begin their approach. The cornered lion smacks one of them to the ground.

“Are you alright?” one of the zookeepers asks the “victim.”

And there are smiles all around. Especially from zoo visitors who were entertained last weekend by this rather important, if colorful, practice. After all, everyone got to watch.


Zebra on the loose. Screen capture by Guardian News via YouTube


This “leopard” is enough to put the fear of big cat into you, isn’t it? Screen capture via Guardian News YouTube.

A big, scary rhino…

Whoo…watch out for this lumbering rhino. Screen capture Guardian News via YouTube.

…And this polar bear…

Lions, tigers, and polar bears, oh my! Screen capture by Guardian News via YouTube.

The appreciative crowd that gathered showed their enthusiasm by hauling out their mobile phones and snapping photos. This was all for a great cause, of course.

One pair of captive audience members looked rather unimpressed, though.

These lionesses right here

“What are these crazy humans doing now?” they seem to ask. Screen capture by Guardian News via YouTube

Zoos all over Japan practice these escaped critter drills because earthquakes are so common there. The country is fraught with continental and oceanic plates and has many volcanoes and hot springs. The Great Kanto Earthquake, centered near Tokyo, killed 100,000 people in 1923. The Southern Hyogo Earthquake (also called the Great Hanshin Earthquake) leveled the city of Kobe and its surroundings, killing 6,000 people and destroying 100,000 homes.

But the most notorious mover and shaker of them all is the Great East Japan Earthquake which triggered an enormous tsunami on the country’s Pacific coast. This deadly combination killed 20,000 people in March of 2011 and even caused a nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture.

We’re happy these zookeepers care about animals

If an earthquake hits, these zookeepers will know what to do. Screen capture by Guardian News via YouTube

The video below is best watched with your kids. Enjoy!

Featured image courtesy of Guardian News via YouTube

Featured image courtesy of Guardian News via YouTube

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