At least 150 zookeepers participated in a staged drill at Ueno Zoo as part of a training exercise in what to do in the case of one of the animals escapes, with one of the zookeepers dressing up as a giant zebra.

The assignment covered all scenarios of what might happen if an animal breaks out of its enclosure, along with what actions need to be taken at a particular time. This includes cornering the animal, staging tranquilliser shots and covering it in a net, before lifting it safely into the back of a truck. Previous drills have been known to feature an employee being attacked by the animal that has "escaped".

Located in Taitō, Tokyo, Ueno Zoo is the oldest in Japan, opening in for the first time in 1882. It has been conducting training sessions such as this for over a decade. Tama zoo, which was originally part of Ueno, also puts on similar training sessions.

japan zoo escaped animal drill
A keeper checks if a mock zebra is unconscious after it was shot with a 'tranquilliser dart' at Tama Zoo in 2013 Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP
japan zoo escaped animal drill
A zookeeper aims a tranquilliser gun at a keeper dressed in a gorilla costume at the Ueno zoo in 2014 Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP