William Blake at a Japanese zoo

In “The Tyger,” English poet William Blake (1757–1827) describes the terrible beauty of a graceful but deadly tiger, and wonders how a loving God could have created such a fearsome monster. Here are some key lines:

Public domain image via Wikimedia Commons

Public domain image via Wikimedia Commons

Tyger, tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?…

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?…

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Now, with those images in mind, watch this chilling video from the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper last summer in which the staff of Tennoji Zoo in Osaka hold a drill to prepare for the terrifying scenario of an escaped tiger running amok in the park.

There’s some very brief dialog in Japanese, but you don’t need to understand the language to understand the action.

Watch it here.

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