How do you prepare for an escaped lion at the zoo? Obviously, you dress someone up in a lion suit borrowed from a child’s birthday party and shoot them with a tranquilizer as the Mission Impossible theme plays in the background.
At least, that’s what Tobe Zoo in Ehime Prefecture did in their lion escape training video released a few weeks ago.
Witness below as the “lion” waltzes around in a daze and viciously attacks a zookeeper—really just pushes him to the ground—before being hauled off, tail between his legs.
The video, shared by the Mainichi Shimbun on June 22, left us all asking “are y’all forreal?” Apparently, the zoo was.
When Twitter got a hold of this comic gold, it went viral instantly and further hilarity ensued. People especially called out the major side-eye from the actual lions who were chilling in their cages during the whole debacle. Let’s look at some of the best tweets that we couldn’t stop laughing at.
Meanwhile in Japan
When the video was first released, the Mainichi Shimbun’s Twitter account @eizo_desk helpfully created a four-panel manga-style summary of the video, tweeting that the two lions’ reaction was the best part.
— 毎日新聞映像グループ (@eizo_desk) June 23, 2019
Why you always lion?
This mood was then expertly summed up by Twitter user @profharbinger.
— Professor* Harbinger (@profharbinger) June 22, 2019
They’ve just taught the lions their emergency plan. I’m not sure that’s the smartest move.
— 🧱House🏳️🌈 (@architek2ra) June 22, 2019
I’ve seen those lions’ faces somewhere before
The real lions are like pic.twitter.com/r7pBtU6a2H
— Jane Austen (@EternalJAusten) June 22, 2019
If I knew that were my job for the day, I might be as well
That "lion" looks high af…
— ˗ˏˋ アノ・マリエ ˊˎ˗ (@milktea_hvnly) June 23, 2019
Well, it is pretty convincing
I'm convinced that all of Japan is trapped in an anime at this point
— Luke Royal (@VeryRarePOV) June 22, 2019
Sometimes you just gotta start from the bottom and work your way up to the top
Finally, someone speaks the truth
The silly video was picked up by media outlets across the world who were also left wondering what exactly they had just watched.
A Japanese Zoo has staged a bizarre and elaborate 'escaped lion drill'. The drill was intended to prepare Tobe Zoo staff and visitors for an emergency situation after an earthquake. No humans, animals or humans in animal costumes were hurt during the drill. #TheLatest #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/5Tmt84Fnp7
— 7NEWS Australia (@7NewsAustralia) June 24, 2019
This wasn’t even just a one-off though—these escape drill videos are totally a thing at zoos all across Japan.
Check out this monkey escape drill from a zoo in Kyoto and tell me the monkey’s “oh no” face when the cops roll up on him doesn’t make you cackle!
Now this is what you call acting
“A Kyoto zoo performed a catch simulation in case a monkey escaped from the zoo 😂” tweeted @Ryo_Saeba_3.
Eye of the other tiger
Here’s one of a tiger drill. That poor tiger is getting anxiety wondering why his homeboy is being dragged off.
Tiger drill pic.twitter.com/db3dc6gHLC
— Dfama (@the_dfama) June 22, 2019
Let’s just hope that all the award-winning acting on display has prepared zookeepers for the real thing. As @oldboy2012 pointed out:
— oldboy2012 (@oldboy2012) June 24, 2019
He tweeted, “This is not a drill! I repeat this is not a drill!”