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Bear invades Tokyo softball venue ahead of Olympic Games opener

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TOKYO — The Tokyo Olympics won’t have any spectators in the stands, but bear with us.

Fukushima police said that a security guard spotted a brown bear on Tuesday, and then again Wednesday morning at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium, hours before the first pitch between Japan and Australia, according to The Japan Times.

“A guard found a bear inside Azuma Sports Park early in the morning yesterday. We also received similar information this morning,” a Fukushima police spokesman told the newspaper.

The ursine creature, about three feet tall according to local media reports, has not yet been found despite a search effort by authorities through the night.

“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 told the Times.

Workers prepare the field at Yokohama Baseball Stadium in preparation for softball competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan.

Bears are common in Japan, according to the Times, and bear searches are typically conducted when the animals intersect with human life.

Japan defeated Australia 8-1 in the opening game. The United States shutout Italy 2-0 later in the day.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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