A football match in New Zealand was disrupted last weekend by a unique substitute: a sea lion. The animal stormed onto the field at the start of the game. When the club decided to change fields, the sporty sea lion just went along.
The match, played by some 13-year-olds, took place in the coastal city of Dunedin. Before the duel started, there seemed to be little going on. The sea lion was obediently resting on the side of the field. However, the animal sprang into action at the kick-off. The sea lion stormed to the center of the field, forcing the game to be stopped.
The two teams then decided to continue playing on a different fields. That was again excluding the sea lion. He followed them to the other square. Spectators then tried to chase the animal away and keep it at a distance with a two-meter branch. The animal only left after 45 minutes. In the meantime, the match could go on.
“We’ve never experienced anything like this,” said Bradley Scott, who supported his daughter during the game last weekend. “Fortunately, everyone handled the problem sensibly. It is therefore not the fault of the sea lion that our fields are so close to the beach.”
It is not the first time that a sea lion has been among the people in New Zealand. Just last week, a sea lion blocked a local road. The authorities advise people always to keep at least 20 meters away from the animals. If they feel threatened, they can become aggressive.