Japanese zookeepers successfully capture fake gorilla
February 7, 2014 -- Updated 0657 GMT (1457 HKT)
Staff at Japan's Ueno Zoo practiced capturing escaped animals by chasing around one of their colleagues wearing a gorilla suit.
- Japanese zoo practiced capturing escaped animals by chasing colleague in gorilla suit
- "I tried to feel what an animal might feel," said zookeeper wearing the costume
- In 2004, the drill was conducted with two men inside rhinoceros costume
(CNN) -- Could you catch a wild gorilla? What about a person dressed as a gorilla?
This week, staff at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo practiced capturing escaped animals by chasing around one of their colleagues wearing a gorilla suit.
Visitors gaped as scores of helmet-wearing keepers surrounded the "gorilla" with cars and nets. Staff then pretended to tranquilize their coworker, who swooned dramatically and collapsed to the ground.
The acting ape was immediately wrapped in a large net and hauled away on a truck.
The escaped animal drill at the Tokyo zoo is conducted every other year, and this time zookeeper Natsumi Uno was chosen to wear the animal costume.
"In our work there may be times when we need to capture an animal, but we would never be the ones being captured," Uno told reporters.
"So I tried to feel what an animal might feel and realized when they were on the run they would be scared. That's how I felt."
But some onlookers were barely moved. One Japanese user posted on Twitter, "Ueno Zoo's escape drill wasn't tense at all."
Another wrote, "The gorilla escape drill was so laid back! Made me laugh."
The practice is part of the city's earthquake preparedness drills, where city workers prepare for scenarios that may occur in the event of an earthquake.
That includes capturing raging beasts.
In the past, the Ueno Zoo has tried using different animal outfits: In 2004, two men ran around the zoo while wearing a giant papier-mâché rhinoceros over their heads.
The technique isn't just Japanese -- in 2012, the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Massachusetts practiced capturing an employee in a giraffe costume. The year before that, zookeepers in China "caught" a man dressed as Tigger from the "Winnie the Pooh" cartoon.
Of course, real animals are more difficult to catch.
When an actual monkey escaped from the Ueno Zoo in 2010, it took six hours before officials finally netted it in the basement of a neighboring restaurant.
Part of complete coverage on
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Hamas' tactics have changed -- now the group is using commando-like tactics, says CNN's Ben Wedeman.
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
Some contend that larger weapons have come into Ukraine from Russia.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 0021 GMT (0821 HKT)
Prince George isn't your average one year old. He started walking before he was one. Oh, and, he's going to be king -- of 16 countries.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
Former President Bill Clinton acknowledges he got "very close" to helping achieve peace in the Middle East.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0621 GMT (1421 HKT)
In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will build 100 "smart cities" across the country.
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 1127 GMT (1927 HKT)
Inspirational, creepy or just weird? CNN meets the 51-year-old man who dresses like a schoolgirl.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1100 GMT (1900 HKT)
A British nanotech company has created what it says is the world's darkest material.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1112 GMT (1912 HKT)
Yoga, meditation and watching a snake eat a frog alive: these are some of the experiences to be had at this Himalayan yoga retreat.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1152 GMT (1952 HKT)
The world's largest flying aquatic insect, with huge, nightmarish pincers, has been discovered in China's Sichuan province, experts say.
Today's five most popular stories