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7 adorable animals that interrupted sporting events [Updated]

The Week

These enthusiastic cats, dogs, and squirrels weren't content to remain on the sidelines

1. The marten who wouldn't go quietly
Just as FC Thun and FC Zurich were starting their Swiss Super League soccer game on Sunday, a wild marten — a small, ferret-like animal — ran onto the field, brazenly bobbing and weaving through the players, managing to evade capture, and finding refuge in the stands. But it wanted more, and soon after play resumed, the stubborn little star zipped across the field once again. Zurich defender Loris Benito made an impressive jump and tackle, grabbing the marten with both bare hands, but was bitten on the finger. (See the photo above.) The animal almost got away again, but Zurich's gloved goalkeeper Davide Da Costa managed a one-handed grab of the surprisingly speedy critter and successfully sent it off the field. Watch the exciting episode below.

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2. The dog who stole a golf ball
During the Dunhill Links in Scotland last October, a spunky pooch appeared out of nowhere, temporarily stealing the game's spotlight and golf ball. Just as golfer Paul Casey was about to line up for a putt, the small mutt ran onto the 12th green, picked up the ball, and ran off. "I've heard of alligators jumping out of the water at unsuspecting hackers," says Shane Bacon at CBS Sports. "But man's best friend? Nah, not when we're out on the links."

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(Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

3. The squirrel who ran across home plate
In a 2011 playoff game between the Phillies and Cardinals, a wayward squirrel skipped across home plate just as Philadelphia's Roy Oswalt threw a pitch. Despite Oswalt's best protest, the home plate umpire ruled the pitch a ball, and the tiny guy darted away.

4. The stray cat who interrupted a soccer match
Last year, an English Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham was momentarily halted when a stray cat trotted out onto the pitch. It wasn't until multiple security guards surrounded the confused feline that play was able to resume.

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5. The dog who tried to run with the big boys
Cats aren't the only ones who like football. In 2011, this Jack Russell terrier ran out onto the field to try and commandeer the ball in an international rules football match, tripping up more than a few players in the process.

6. The cow who interrupted a Polish soccer game
Yet another soccer game was put on hold this fall when a tiny cow ran out onto the field with his presumed owner in tow, winded and ragged. This time, though, players took things into their own hands, chasing the spotted animal back from whence it came.

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7. The squirrel who invaded the U.S. Open
At last year's U.S. Open, a plucky squirrel put a screeching halt to the action when it bolted out onto the court. "The poor thing's scared now," said a concerned announcer. Luckily, it didn't take long for the furry critter to escape to safety.

This article — originally published on Oct. 5, 2012 — was last updated on March 11, 2013.

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