Marten invades Swiss soccer match, bites player

4:19 AM, Mar 11, 2013   |    comments
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THUN, SWITZERLAND - A field invasion by a sharp-toothed, weasel-like creature has created havoc at a soccer match in Switzerland.

The furry creature, a marten, dashed onto the field a few minutes into the top division match between Thun and FC Zurich on Sunday and evaded efforts by players and match officials to catch it. Play briefly resumed when the animal ran into the stands, but the marten reappeared shortly afterward.

Zurich defender Loris Benito dived and grabbed the marten - receiving a bitten finger for his troubles as he tried to carry it off the field.

"In hindsight, it was obviously somewhat foolish of me," Benito told German media after the game. "Who knows what diseases the animal had, but I wanted to play the match and now simply trust in my immune system."

His team's goalkeeper, Davide Da Costa, eventually managed to put an end to the creature's caper and bundle it off the field.

Zurich won the match 4-0.

The BBC writes: "Pine martens are elusive members of the weasel family, and sport a creamy yellow throat bib. Found throughout most of central and northern Europe, this once heavily persecuted marten is now extinct from most of England and Wales. They favor well wooded areas where they can nest in hollow trees and old animal homes. Pine martens eat small mammals and seasonally available produce such as autumn fruits and berries. They are also treetop hunters that can race skillfully along branches, leaping from tree to tree in pursuit of squirrels."

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