Although spectators are banned from attending events at the upcoming Olympic Games, a local black bear apparently didn’t get the memo.
The animal, who witnesses said was about three feet tall, was spotted near Fukushima’s Azuma Sports Park twice just hours before a match between host country Japan and Australia.
“A guard found a bear inside Azuma Sports Park early in the morning yesterday. We also received similar information this morning,” a spokesman for the Fukushima Police Department told AFP.
Local media said the animal was an Asian black bear, AFP noted.
Officers tried to flush the bear out of its hiding spot by blasting music and setting off firecrackers, according to CBS News. However, nothing worked.
“We couldn’t find or capture the bear, and while there won’t be any spectators at the stadium, we are on alert and searching for the bear around the site,” the spokesman said.
As for the softball match, Japan beat Australia 8-1.
This wasn’t even the first bear to be a factor in a pre-Olympic event this summer.
Last month in Sapporo ― where the marathon will be held ― a wild brown bear wounded four people, entered a military camp, and disrupted flights at the local airport before it was killed by authorities, CBS News reported.