30 Squirrels Escape from Zoo, Zookeepers ‘Recapture’ 38

From Time Magazine:

Japanese zookeepers lost track of several squirrels after a typhoon last week felled a 120-year-old pine tree, which slashed through the netting of the animals’ enclosure. In the commotion, 30 of the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed rodents made a break for freedom.

The recovery of the lost animals has been astoundingly successful: As of Friday, zookeepers said, they had “recaptured” 38 squirrels, most of them captured in surrounding parkland. They were quickly returned to the Inokashira Park Zoo.

So why the mysterious additional squirrels? Zoo officials have come up with a number of explanations. According to Japan Today, zoo official and animal biology specialist Hioshi Mashima said on Friday, “More than 40 squirrels must have gotten away in the first place. There are no wild squirrels inhabiting this area. That is for sure.” Mashima said the zoo could not be precise on the exact number of squirrels it currently has in it possession “because they are difficult to catch, and they keep reproducing.”