'Gorilla' escapes during Japan zoo drill



TOKYO -- A Japanese zoo staged an emergency drill on Thursday, simulating a scenario in which the zoo's gorillas escape following an earthquake.

Dressed in a gorilla-like costume, one member of staff ran through the zoo before being overwhelmed by other zoo workers with nets and 'sedated'.

More than 150 members of staff were joined by members of local police and fire departments during the escape drill at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.

Toshimitsu Doi, the zoo's director, said the drill was successful and stressed the importance of being preparing for the unexpected.

"When you're doing everyday work as part of a routine, you forget what it's like when something out of the ordinary happens," he said. "It's important to take these opportunities to remember what needs to be done."

The Ueno Zoo has had escape scares in the past, the most recent being a monkey that escaped from its enclosure in 2010.

It holds "animal escape" drills every two years. Previous drills have included the simulated escapes of a rhinoceros and a tiger.