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Tokyo zookeepers chase woman in zebra costume for escape drill

By Ben Hooper
Tokyo zookeepers chase woman in zebra costume for escape drill
A "zebra" makes a run for it during an escape drill at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo. Kyodo News/YouTube video screenshot

TOKYO, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- A Tokyo zoo dressed an employee in a cartoonish zebra costume to allow zookeepers to practice recapturing a panicked animal.

The Ueno Zoo held an escape drill Tuesday that involved a fictional earthquake freeing a zebra -- actually 27-year-old Yumi Tamura in a mascot-style zebra costume -- from its enclosure.

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The scenario included an employee being faux-injured while another suffered a simulated heart attack.

Video of the drill shows the fake zebra being surrounded by zookeepers before being subdued with a simulated tranquilizer gun and loaded onto a pickup truck.

Similar escape drills are common at Japanese zoos, with the Tama Zoological Park holding a simulated escape last year with an employee dressed in a leopard costume.

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