You haven’t fully experienced Japan if you haven’t been to one of Tokyo’s oddest annual events: Ueno Zoo’s escaped animal drill. In fact, the drill has become so popular that it has built up a cult following among elementary school-aged children and lovers of the weird and wonderful. The zoo holds annual drills for runaway animals such as gorillas, rhinos, lions and orangutans. The drill is to practice how to re-capture an easily startled animal if it were to escape from its enclosure. Zookeepers dress up in animal costumes and make a break for it, all while 150 of their colleagues, together with police and emergency workers, practice how they would handle the situation if an animal were to really escape. The Ueno Zoo practices this every other year in the beginning of February.
Contributors: Heidi Thiel from Ignite Visibility