A JAPANESE zoo has become the butt of a global joke after using a bloke in a lion costume to train staff how to deal with an escaped big cat.

The drill, filmed at Tobe Zoo in Ehime by a local news station, quickly went viral for the hilarious tactics used during the demonstration.

LION - Japanese zoo mocked for ‘escape’ drill using man dressed in a lion costume
A Japanese zoo has been mocked after using a bloke dressed up as a lion in a drill to combat a big cat escape
LION3 - Japanese zoo mocked for ‘escape’ drill using man dressed in a lion costume
The man in the costume ran around the zoo in a bid to simulate a genuine breach of the lion enclosure
LION2 - Japanese zoo mocked for ‘escape’ drill using man dressed in a lion costume
The real lions looked far less than impressed at the baffling display confronting them

For safety reasons, they are unable to use a real lion to run the drill, but innovatively came up with this barmy alternative.

Footage of the training shows the “lion” looking from side to side while wandering around the zoo.

The staff hold up nets to try and corner the escaped “big cat” so it doesn’t run too far away.

At one point the lion rushes towards one of the staff members holding a net, knocking them to the ground.

Staff then drive past and simulate shooting a tranquilliser dart at the fancy dress predator.

The fake lion then falls to the ground, and a group of staff rush out to move the big cat.

As staff demonstrate the correct way to move the lion, the camera switches to a shot of the real lions looking bored out of  their minds at the baffling display before them.

The drill is apparently done every year to teach staff how to respond to events that could cause the lions to escape, such as an earthquake damaging their enclosure.

But the Japanese aren’t the only ones at this kind of carry on with a similar drill for a tiger escape being carried out in Russia last year.

The footage was shared online and instantly became a hit, with people losing it over the hilarious clip.

Tweeter Spoon & Tamango tweeted: “Tobe Zoo in Aichi conducted a lion escape drill today. Note the expression on the actual lions faces.”

Earthlove posted: “Tobe Zoo have shown actual lions how to evade capture.”

Shawn R. Bouley added sarcastically: “I feel much safer about visiting the Tobe Zoo…”

lion4 - Japanese zoo mocked for ‘escape’ drill using man dressed in a lion costume
After the ‘lion’ had been subdued keepers flocked around it to cart him into the van
lion5 - Japanese zoo mocked for ‘escape’ drill using man dressed in a lion costume
At one point the feral beast charged at the keepers, knocking one to the ground

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