In what may be the undercover art film hit of the year thus far, a Japanese zoo has released this “how-to” video on standard operating procedure if your zebra happens to escape its cage.
Featuring more bizarre slapstick antics than a Three Stooges marathon, a cadre of uniformed “guards” tries their best to ensnare their elusive striped antihero, a process consisting of surrounding it with nets and banging bamboo poles on the ground while yelling. After a brief moment of triumph for the animal kingdom, the hapless zebra recognizes the folly of its yearning-to-be-free ways and collapses with high drama before the webbed human wall. Yet this surrender is not taken gracefully: A vengeful guard adds insult to injury by poking the zebra in the ass with a stick before the animal is tossed onto a waiting flatbed truck.
If this weren’t distributed by the Associated Press, it’d be easy to pass off as a hoax, the metaphoric work of some Japanese film students or comedy troupe. And it’d still be funny, but not nearly so funny and bizarre as watching it with the knowledge that this is, indeed, the real deal.