Japanese Zoo Conduct Lion Escape Drill With An Actor in Lion Suit

Image: Twitter (@Johnny_suputama)

When there’s a fire drill, the fire drill alarm rings and everyone has to climb the stairs down to the first floor.

Because no elevators during fires, yeah?

No, I’m not whining about how I have to climb down 18 flights of stairs to reach the ground floor. I’ll leave that to my handsome colleague, GY.

The point is, drills have to be as real to the real incident so that people know what to do.

So fire drill? Alarms, extinguisher, and loads of walking calmly.

But What About A Lion Drill?

Zoos don’t only have to contend with fire drills. They’re filled with wild and dangerous animals, so they are required to go through prison-break drills too.

And by prison breaks, I mean that feisty lion you were feeding raw meat with breaking out of their enclosures.

Image: Giphy

That’s any zoo’s nightmare, which is why zoos like the Tobe Zoological Park in Ehime prefecture, Japan, runs drills in case an earthquake help one of the lions break out of prison.

Footage of Tobe Zoological Park Drill Goes Viral

On 22 June 2019, the zoo held their drill and was covered by Japanese online news site, Manichi.

It was reposted by Twitter user @Johnny_suputama and went viral with over 4.73 million views and over 36,000 retweets.

And to be honest, how could it not when it involves this lion?

Do you have a friend who’s always smiling? Watch this video and you’ll know why he or she is always so happy:

Image: Twitter

Yes, that’s right, a lion in a suit walking on two legs.

But that’s not the only thing that caused the video to go viral.

Oscar-Worthy Acting

If there’s one thing the Japanese people are known for, it’s their tendency to get everything right.

So lions aren’t meant to be polite and bowing to people. They’re supposed to try and escape any way they can.

Including running at the nice ahjussi in blue and white.

Image: Twitter (@Johnny_suputama)

Oh hey, he’s playing along!

And when you get shot with a tranquillizer, you’re supposed to stagger before falling.

Image: Twitter (@Johnny_suputama)

Now to check if the lion’s playing dead.

Image: Twitter (@Johnny_suputama)

And for the final nail in the coffin? 

Image: Twitter (@Johnny_suputama)

The videographer took great care to capture the faces of the lions.

And let’s just say, they didn’t look too impressed.

Image: Twitter (@Johnny_suputama)

It’s Actually Common

Now, if you’re thinking Tobe Zoological Park in Ehime prefecture, Japan is a weird one, they’re not.

It’s actually pretty common in Japanese zoos.

Image: @TokyoZooNet_PR / Twitter

By the way, is it really wise to show the real escapees what not to do if they ever want to escape?