Wildlife World Of Sports: 7 Animal Arena Invasions

Cover your eyes AND your nuts: from squirrels to ducks to pesky Pine Martens, these 7 amazing sports field streakers demand their piece of the on-field action.

My Favorite Marten

(images via: TIME NewsFeed, Ahram Online and CBC)

Who ever said nothing exciting ever happens in Switzerland… and at a soccer match yet! While the March 10th, 2013 game between Swiss Super League teams FC Thun and FC Zürich was nothing to write home about, the distraction caused by a wayward European Pine Marten certainly was. The weasel-like mammal invaded the pitch only to have Zurich defender Loris Benito take it down with a flying tackle. Neither Benito nor the marten was red-carded for the incident though Benito was bitten on the hand for his troubles.

(image via: TIME NewsFeed)

“In hindsight, I was probably a little foolish,” stated Benito to Swiss television in a half-time interview. “You don’t know what sort of disease it might be carrying. It was painful.” After goalkeeper David da Costa, who was wisely wearing gloves, took the marten from the bleeding Benito and delivered it to arena stewards, the match continued with FC Zürich winning 4-0. Sign that marten to a contract… as a mascot, at least.

Wildlife Squirrels Of Sports

(images via: Fox Sports, Total Pro Sports and CBC)

What in the wild world of sports is this? A squirrel darting across a Queens, NY tennis court during the 2012 US Open, that’s what. The fur-bearin’ varmint caused a ruckus during a match between Julien Benneteau and Olivier Rochus, both of whom were not amused by the interspecies interruption of their match. Managers at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center might want to review their non-human security protocols since the squirrel ran across the court during the match’s second set, disappeared, and returned a few minutes later to taunt Center staff a second time. Much like tennis, that takes balls.

“Turn Left… and DUCK!”

(images via: USA Today/FTW)

IndyCar races are challenging enough without introducing moving obstacles to the racetrack but that’s just what happened on May 31st of 2013 during a practice run for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. A mother duck with about a half-dozen ducklings in tow somehow managed to get onto the track. Why were they there? To get to the other side, of course! Luckily for all concerned, drivers successfully avoided hitting the duck dynasty and event staff were able to get the feathered family flock through the fence with a clear view to their intended destination on the banks of the Detroit River. Maybe they were safer on the track.