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ASEAN/East Asia

Friday, 16 December 2016 | MYT 8:47 PM

Great escape: Pet shop pony runs free in Tokyo

Pony 'Charlotte', who escaped from a Tokyo pet shop. - AFP

Pony 'Charlotte', who escaped from a Tokyo pet shop. - AFP

Tokyo (AFP) - A pony that ran away from a pet shop in downtown Tokyo enjoyed a brief taste of freedom -- and some grass -- before being gently coaxed back.

The male miniature with the decidedly female name of Charlotte was kept in an enclosure inside a pet shop, a spokeswoman for the chain that manages it said Friday.

But shop staff panicked Thursday evening when they realised the double doors of Charlotte's cage had become unlocked and the small black and white horse was gone, she said.

By the time all 20 employees scrambled to find the equine, it was already dashing down the street of hipster haven Shibuya.

Charlotte was later spotted munching on soft grass on the campus of Kokugakuin University.

"He was quiet and not posing any danger," said a university spokeswoman.

Charlotte's owner, Zoo Japan, which keeps a wide range of animals from dogs and cats to horses and lizards, later retrieved him without incident, spokeswoman Mayumi Kitamura told AFP.

"We were really worried, thinking he might injure strangers or cause car accidents," she said.

Charlotte's escape turned out better than that of an ill-fated zebra that bolted from a Japanese farm in March.

A dramatic chase across a golf course ended with the animal collapsing and dying in a water hazard.

Tags / Keywords: pony , pet shop , Tokyo

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