European Pine Marten Invades Pitch at Swiss Soccer Game and Bites Player (Video)
Alright, let’s address the obvious question first. What is a European Pine Marten? It’s a small little woodland creature, found in northern Europe, that belongs to the mustelid family, which also includes other furry little carnivores like the mink, otter, badger, wolverine, and weasel. The marten is about the size of a house cat and, also like the house cat, it’s a pretty good hunter.
Now on to the sports. At a Swiss Super League soccer match on Sunday between Thun and Zürich, a cute little European Pine Marten became the latest creature to run out onto the field and interrupt a sporting event.
It made one mad dash across the field before heading off into the stands. So then the referee blew the whistle for play to begin again, and obviously the little fella immediately ran back out onto the field. Stadium staff made some vain attempts to trap the marten with some nets, but it was Zürich left back Loris Benito who finally apprehended the thing with a brilliant diving tackle. Sure, he received a nasty bite for his efforts, but he held on to the creature and escorted it off the field like a boss.
Unfortunately, whoever he handed the marten to on the sidelines was not a boss, as the creature was loose again a few minutes later. This time the goalie—you know, the guy with the thick gloves—caught the animal, and it was ejected from the stadium for good.
Here’s video of the entire bizarre scene. And yes, obviously, it is set to the Benny Hill theme:
After the match, Benito admitted, “In hindsight, it was obviously foolish of me [to catch the animals with my bare hands]…But I wanted to play the match and now I simply trust my immune system.”
Hopefully his team doctor doesn’t place quite so much trust in Benito’s immune system and keeps an eye on him for a few weeks. It would be a shame if a pro soccer player died of rabies in this day and age.
Hat Tip – [Dirty Tackle]