On Tuesday, a Japanese zoo conducted an interesting earthquake drill, which involved police and firefighters chasing after a man in a chimpanzee costume.
This unique training exercise was held at the Tama Zoological Park in the city of Hino in Tokyo and was meant to simulate a situation in which a chimpanzee had escaped from its enclosure due to a major earthquake.
About 100 people participated in the simulation and even though the "escaped chimpanzee" was only a man in a costume, all involved took their jobs very seriously.
During the drill some of the participants could be seen evacuating park visitors, while others, armed with tranquilizer guns and nets, did their best to capture the rebellious chimp. As for the chimpanzee, he did his best to act the part, occasionally scratching himself and even wielding a branch for a while.
At about the 10-minute mark of this 50-minute simulation, park staff unsuccessfully tried to use a net to capture the chimp. One of the participants involved in this failed capture attempt ended up getting bitten in the shoulder and hit in the back by the fugitive primate.
Following the vicious attack on one of the net-wielding humans, the chimpanzee made his way to the west side of the park. It was here where after surrounding the chimpanzee participants were finally able to take him down with a well-aimed tranquilizer dart.
After being hit by the (fake) tranquilizer dart the chimpanzee immediately collapsed. Simulation participants made sure to poke the chimp with a stick before putting him in a net, loading him onto a truck and then taking him away.
If you'd like to see the chimp in action for yourself, then check out the two videos below. The first one shows the "attack" and the second one shows the epic capture.
Although rare, animals escaping from zoos in Japan is not something completely unheard of. In fact, in April of last year a chimpanzee escaped from a zoo in Sendai. Video of this incident can be seen below. The video shows the Sendai chimp, named Chacha, climbing electric poles and swinging on power lines, all in an effort to avoid being captured. The video ends with Chacha's capture, which just like in the simulation, involved a tranquilizer dart and a net.
It is in order to be prepared for these kinds of situations that the Tama Zoological Park has been holding their unique emergency drill every year since 1977. In recent years, the event has hosted every other year by Tokyo's Ueno Zoo. In the past, participants have had to capture other "escaped animals," including a lion and evn a black rhinoceros. (2 images)
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