Home Society & Culture Man In Bear Costume Goes Wild In Tokyo Zoo, Gets Taken Down By Tranquilizer Dart (Video)

Man In Bear Costume Goes Wild In Tokyo Zoo, Gets Taken Down By Tranquilizer Dart (Video)

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You know spring is almost here when you see a man in an animal costume being chased down by zookeepers.

Last week st Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo one of the facility’s employees dressed in what was supposed to be a Malayan sun bear costume got chased down by emergency responders as part of one of the most amusing earthquake drills in the world.

The closed-to-the-public training exercise took place on February 13. It was intended to simulate a situation in which a tree toppled over by an earthquake falls on the zoo’s sun bear enclosure and results in one of the animals escaping.

The part of the animal escapee was played by an Ueno Zoo employee wearing what can only be described as a cross between a child’s pajamas and a bear costume. Rather than a proper head piece the costume appeared to have a simple hood which the employee didn’t even wear, instead choosing to protect his head with a plain white helmet.

While the costume may have been a bit lackluster, the efforts of the firefighters, police officers and zookeepers that participated in the drill were anything but. As one group of drill participants practiced evacuating procedures for park visitors, another group set out to capture the rogue bear.

Yes, this actually happened.

The first big “set piece” of the exercise came when responders set up a big net in between the panda enclosure and a visitor’s information center. After the bear drew near, drill participants began yelling and making noise in order to corral it into the net, however, their efforts were unsuccessful. Not only did the bear get away, the commotion ended up causing one of the drill participants (played by a dummy) to have a heart attack, forcing some of the responders to attend to their fallen comrade while the bear continued to run wild.

Following this failed first attempt, zookeepers got serious and pulled out the big guns, literally. After tracking down the bear again, a sniper in a minivan approached the bear and shot the animal with a (fake) tranquilizer dart, incapacitating it within seconds.

With the fugitive bear on the floor, the aforementioned minivan pulled up to it and one of the men inside the vehicle began using a stick to poke the bear through the window of the car. After seeing that the bear was not reacting to the prodding, drill participants rushed to the bear, put it in a net, loaded it onto a truck and rode off into the sunset.

The Japanese website Hazard Lab which broke this story, quoted Ueno Zoo officials as saying “Having an animal escape is something that must never be allowed to happen. However, through these regular training exercises we hope to ensure the safety and peace of mind of zoo visitors.”

If you’d like to see footage of this training exercise, check out the video below.



Posted by ハザードラボ(Hazard lab) on Saturday, February 17, 2018


As strange as it may seem, this unique training exercise is, just like the quote above says, a regular event held every year that traces its roots all the way back to 1977. For the past several years, Ueno Zoo and Tama Zoological Park, which is also located in Tokyo, take turns hosting the event each year. In previous years, participants have had to chase down other “animals,” including a chimpanzee, a lion, a zebra and a black rhinoceros.

Unfortunately, it is not yet known what “animal” will escape next year. However, given that this drill has been going on for more than 40 years, it seems like pretty soon they may run out of animals and be forced to chase down rogue Pikachu.

To read about last year’s training exercise which involved chasing down a man dressed up like a feisty chimpanzee, check out the article below.

Man In Chimp Suit Goes Wild In Tokyo Zoo, Taken Down By Tranquilizer Dart (Video)

Source: Hazard Lab
Images: Hazard Lab Facebook

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