Zookeepers in Japan are hunting 30 squirrels that escaped from a Tokyo zoo during Wednesday's typhoon. The squirrels made their escape when a tree felled by the storm made a hole in their enclosure.
As Typhoon Guchol wreaked havoc across Japan, leaving one dead and dozens injured, a group of cunning squirrels saw it as their opportunity to escape a life behind bars.
The Japan Times reported 30 Japanese squirrels, known as "risu", made a daring break from Inokashira Park Zoo in western Tokyo on Wednesday morning. Determined zoo workers set about trying to recapture the animals, searching the areas with nets.
Mamoru Nakamura of the metropolitan government explained that hunters had their work cut out. He said "it's really difficult to find them because around lunchtime, squirrels tend to rest in holes. . . . And even if we find one, they are very fast, so it's hard to capture them. We hope to catch them all, but some may end up settling in the wild."
Thus far the zoo has managed to recapture 18 of the creatures but a determined dozen remain at large. Zoo spokeswoman Eri Tsushima told Japan Daily Press they are now setting traps using the squirrels favourite foods of sweet potato and bread.
The squirrels followed the example set by a Humboldt penguin who recently escaped from a Japanese aquariam and spent 82 days on the loose.