Hilarious footage shows mascot pretending to be runaway lion in Tokyo zoo

A lion escaped from its enclosure in Tokyo's Tobe Zoo - but it's not what you think.

The hilarious moment turned out to be a drill - the lion being a zoo staff member dressed up in a suit.

A local broadcasting agency filmed the drill, and the viral footage shows zoo staff putting nets over the mascot after it's seen wandering about the zoo.

The latest drill prompted a number of hilarious reactions online, but perhaps the most amusing part of the footage is the reaction of the actual lions, watching on as the person disguised as them loiters.

"Meanwhile, the real lions wonder WTF is going on!" one Twitter user said.

"Maybe Tobe Zoo could organise #brexit for the UK," another wrote.

Other Japanese zoos have held similar exercises in the past few years, to give them fresh insight into how to treat an escaping animal.