TNB Night Owl – Japan Zoo Escapes

Lion in zoo. Photo by

Something doesn’t always catch everyone’s attention immediately. It can be around for years, getting a little recognition from time to time, before the right combination of media attention and public mood strike. That was part of my essay from yesterday morning, and it’s exemplified in the recognition of recent Japanese zoo escapes. The Guardian UK and CNN both featured the story within the past 24 hours, and images are getting passed around on social media.

That’s because these aren’t normal escapes. They’re animal-on-the-loose drills, because Japan, with its frequent earthquakes, has authorities who realize that some fence destruction could result in dangerous consequences. The drills themselves are normal – but that means “normal for Japan”, which doesn’t necessarily square with what the remainder of the world considers normal.

Japanese officials recognize that it’s dangerous to let an actual wind animal prowl the streets, but that anything less than live training could hinder containment efforts in the event of an emergency. They’ve come up with a novel solution: furry mascot costumes.

The people who run around in these costumes are expected to react in much the same way as the species of animal they represent. There have been lions, tigers, bears, zebras, apes and more who have roamed freely on the paths of Japan’s zoos during drills.

It’s certainly more entertaining for the visitors than confronting a real lion.

Question of the night: What’s your favorite exhibit at the zoo?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.