Apparently it’s that time of the year once again, when gullible people believe that actual animals have escaped from the zoo. As part of its training for their staff, the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo conducted its annual escape drill, and for the 2014 edition the “lucky” employee had to wear a gorilla costume and pretend to run amok all over the zoo.
The one tasked to be the “escaped animal” this year was zookeeper Natsumi Ono, and despite being chased by her co-workers and eventually subdued with a mock stun gun and then carted off into a truck, she says it was a good experience to exchange places with her charges even for just a day. She said she “understood what the animals were feeling” while she was being chased, and believes that this kind of drill is important, not just for the safety of the visitors, but for the safety of the animal as well.
More than 150 zoo staff members, as well as local police and fire departments, joined the drill. Zoo director Toshimitsu Doi said the exercise was a qualified success, especially to train the workers in being prepared 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 stressed. Past drills have starred zebras, rhinos, lions and orangutans and volunteer employees who were willing to play this part all said they had fun while doing so. At least no actual animals were hurt in the proceedings.
[ via Telegraph ]