To prepare staffers for the event in which an animal escapes, some zoos in Japan conduct “drills” to simulate an emergency situation. And because it’s, well, Japan, naturally these drills are performed with someone dressed in a full-on animal costume.
In the video, shared by the Japanese news outlet Mainichi, staffers are seen setting up large nets to apprehend the grinning mascot, but the lion “attacks,” knocking one of them to the ground.
— 毎日新聞映像グループ (@eizo_desk) June 22, 2019
Eventually, the great beast is felled by what appears to be a tranquilizer dart and hauled into a van.
Needless to say, the real lions watching from their enclosure were decidedly not impressed.
“Tobe Zoo in Aichi conducted a lion escape drill today. Note the expression on the actual lions’ faces,” Johnny Suputama wrote on Twitter.
Tobe Zoo in Aichi conducted a lion escape drill today.
Note the expression on the actual lions faces.
— Spoon & Tamago (@Johnny_suputama) June 22, 2019
The tweet quickly went viral, because–come on–real lions watching a fake lion get captured with some serious The Office reaction faces is obviously nothing short of comedy gold.
Others began sharing the video or weighing in with jokes and memes of their own.
— SnowflakeSmasher86 (@identikit__) June 22, 2019
"the hell they doing over there" https://t.co/IYBelvGqA5
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 22, 2019
Literally every single moment from this video is amazing https://t.co/gKIBiBpJ1F
— Daniel Phillips (@DanielKATC) June 22, 2019
— VEROooooo (@CruzakaVero) June 22, 2019
One user weighed in with a possible downside to the zoo staff’s plan.
“They’ve just taught the lions their emergency plan. I’m not sure that’s the smartest move,” Twitter user @architek2ra wrote.
Are they teaching the lions how to not get caught 😂
— Arjun (@Extr0ne) June 22, 2019
Other videos of Japanese animal escapes then began surfacing, such as this monkey escape from the Kyoto Zoo. It’s apparently a ~thing~.
Un zoo de Kyoto a effectué une simulation de capture dans le cas où un singe s'echapperait du zoo 😂
— ⛩ Ryo Saeba ⛩ (@Ryo_Saeba_3) February 13, 2019
A zoo in Tokyo has this hilariously fake paper-mache rhinoceros.
Never change, Japan.
- You need to follow this Instagram account full of baby lions right now
- Zoo lion and young boy have a dramatic staring contest
- The baby lion practicing his very first roar is a-roar-able
- Harambe the gorilla lives on in beautifully tasteless memes
Got five minutes? We’d love to hear from you. Help shape our journalism and be entered to win an Amazon gift card by filling out our 2019 reader survey.