Japanese Zoo’s Unintentionally Hilarious Lion Escape Drill Goes Viral
When a zoo in Japan engaged in some emergency drills, they had no idea it would also turn into a big PR event.
Tobe Zoological Park in Ehime Prefecture, Japan held a drill over the weekend to prep and train staff on how to respond in the event a lion breaks out of its enclosure. The results were unintentionally hilarious.
Video footage of the test shows a man in a cartoon lion suit, running around the zoo and trying to escape.
One highlight of the footage shows the lions, safely enclosed, staring at the shenanigans of their ersatz counterpart. Twitter users were quick to notice the nonplussed expression on the real lions’ faces.
Naturally, the Internet was ready to meme.
One Twitter user pointed out that now the lions know the escape contingency plan — making it more likely they’ll fashion some new dastardly way to override the system, if (or when) they plan their escape.
Another Twitter user who once worked at a zoo recounted the time the facility was testing for a rhino escape. During the drill, they drove a golf cart around zoo property with a sign that just read “rhino.”
The drill is performed every year, although the zoo wrote on Facebook that this was the first time they conducted the test while they were open to visitors.