When animals invade … sporting events

From time to time animals interrupt major sporting events, and for the most part fans find it funny. Here's a look at a few cats, some goslings, a rabbit, bees and a pine marten wandering onto the field of play.

11 times critters reminded fans their favourite sport is just another game

In an FA Cup soccer match on Jan. 9, 2016, a cat interrupted the Everton and Dagenham & Redbridge football clubs around the 85th minute of play. Everton went on to win 2-0. (Lee Smith/Reuters)

The Australian Open was interrupted by a bird (again).

Ten days after the cat incursion, an Australian Open tennis match between Viktor Troicki and Daniel Munoz de la Nava was put on hold by a heron. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

The Australian Open has been affected by birds of various sizes for years, notably in 2012 when two matches, one between Novak Djokovic and Lleyton Hewitt and another between Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych, were interrupted by seagulls. In 2002 Michael Llodra hit, and killed, a bird during a doubles match. Wimbledon also has history of pigeon problems.

A parade of swans puts this golf tournament on hold.

Swedish golfer Joel Sjoholm waited patiently for this family of swans to find the water trap during a 2012 tournament in Germany. (Ina Fassbender/Reuters)

A puss among the boots in Malta.

A kitten holds up a Maltese soccer final between local teams Birkirkara and Valletta in 2010. (Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

This monkey's antics just aren't cricket.

A test match in Sri Lanka was briefly delayed by a monkey in 2015. (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)

Why did the rabbit cross the track? A wrong turn in Albuquerque.

A rabbit shows a turn of speed during the Italian Grand Prix in Florence in May 2015. (Max Rossi/Reuters)

Removing these bees didn't take the sting out of Oldham's loss.

Experts were called in to deal with a swarm of bees before a match between Oldham Athletic and Blackburn Rovers in 2015. Blackburn won 2-0. (Ed Sykes/Action Images)

This black cat was bad luck for Toronto FC.

Toronto FC goalkeeper Freddy Hall appears undaunted as a black cat passes in front of his penalty area during a match against Santos Laguna, in Toronto, in 2012. TFC lost 3-1. (Mike Cassese/Reuters)

Few can recall who won this Swiss Super League match, but many remember this marten.

Swiss Club FC Thun's goalkeeper Guillaume Faivre points a pine marten toward the sidelines. A few moments later, the weasel-like animal bit Zurich defender Loris Benito. No red card was issued. (Pascal Lauener/Reuters)

This soccer match is for the birds.

Goalkeeper Cristian Vampestrini, playing for Argentina's Arsenal Sarandi, was harried by a bird during a 2013 match in Sao Paulo. (Paulo Whitaker/Reuters)

English fans in London might have been especially confused by this NFL game.

A squirrel joins the action during a game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London's Wembley Stadium in 2011. (Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters)


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?