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Zoo stages escape drill with keeper dressed as leopard

The director of the Tama Zoological Park said workers sought to make the drill "as realistic as possible."

By Ben Hooper

TOKYO, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- A zoo in Tokyo dressed a worker in a cartoony snow leopard costume to stage an animal escape drill and test out the zoo's response.

The Tama Zoological Park drill involved worker Toshiya Nomura donning the leopard suit and running wild around the zoo -- at one point staging a mock attack on a zoo worker -- before being brought down by a tranquilizer dart.

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Nomura played asleep for the drill and staff members ensured the "leopard" was sedated by poking it's head with a stick.

"We focused on making this drill as realistic as possible. One of our staff being knocked down and injured was a part of that," said Yukata Funda, director of the Tama Zoological Park.

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