Although zoos simulate an animal's natural environment, once they leave their enclosures (if they do, after rehabilitation), it's likely the creatures will find unfamiliar terrain. That's why most movies depict a mass escape of zoo animals as a disaster -- it probably would be. Lions and elephants running around New York City would be bad news for all parties involved.
There are some animals that wouldn't cause as much of a ruckus, though, like the giant tortoise. In fact, a female giant tortoise named Abuh recently escaped from a zoo in Japan, and was missing for two weeks before anybody spotted it. When they did, it was like a joke from a movie, because in 14 days' time, it only managed to make it less than 500 feet from the park (via AFP), less than a football field and a half away.
The caretakers at Shibukawa Animal Park in Okayama were eager to have Abuh back, offering a 500,000 yen ($4,500) reward for the turtle's return. Little did they know they probably could have spotted her from where they stood.
"We were so relieved that she came back safely as she is so popular among children," said zoo staffer Yoshimi Yamane. "We will try to take new measures so that this won't happen again."
Described as having a "gentle" disposition, Abuh is actually a pretty slippery tortoise, since this was the second time in less than a month that she went missing. The good news is that if this manages to happen again, they probably won't have to extend their search too far.
What other stereotypically characteristic and hilarious animal news have you come across recently? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image: Sergei ~ 5of7/Flickr