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Disaster preparedness is absolutely imperative in earthquake-prone Japan. For zoos, that means having well-practiced plans in place in the event of an animal escape amid the chaos. But surely it’s not necessary to force the new guy to run around in a zebra suit?

At Tama Zoo, a popular spot for Tokyoites with young kids, visitors recently got to see more action than they were expecting when the zoo staff did a full rehearsal of their emergency plan, including tranquilizer guns, nets and the lowest ranked zookeeper playing the escaped zebra.

The director of the zoo says he wants to give the exercise an air of realism so his staff will be as prepared as possible for the real thing, so he has one of the staff in costume behaving as a stressed animal would.

Says the zebra guy, “It gets pretty stinky in there.”

Apparently, Tama Zoo isn’t the only one to do this either. At Ueno Zoo, they’ve done emergency drills with a guy in a tiger suit and with two staff inside a giant paper mache rhino!

You just can’t make this stuff up, folks. Check out videos of all three below.

Source: Science, Space, Robots
Videos: ITN News, Genius, Telegraph