Bear Causes Concern at 2020 Tokyo Olympics By Disappearing After Being Spotted at Softball Stadium

by Jonathan Howard

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics set to start this month, there is a bit of a concern. No, I’m not talking about the ongoing pandemic, but a bear that is concerning organizers. An Asiatic black bear was spotted by the Fukushima softball stadium twice within a 24-hour period. Officials have not been able to locate the bear as of yet. A common species of bear in Japan, attacks on humans are possible.

A member of Fukushima police said they spotted the bear last night and once again this morning. This was prior to a game held between Japan and Australia. Azuma Sports Park, the venue, will host multiple softball games throughout the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There won’t be any spectators in the stands, however, the lack of human activity may lead a bear to feel more comfortable in the area.

According to Sports Hochi, the entire Olympic guard assigned to the venue attempted to search for the animal at night. While they were unable to physically locate the bear, they used other methods to keep it at bay. The guard played loud music and sent off fireworks to get the bear to come out of hiding, or to make it leave the area.

However, it seems the efforts were futile. The bear was spotted in the morning following the activities. The good thing for organizers and all involved, Japan and Australia played their game without a large mammal disruption. Japan beat Australia 8-1 and the host country immediately has a win to celebrate. This isn’t the first bear situation at a 2020 Tokyo Olympics location.

Tokyo 2020 Bear Issues

Last month, a brown bear was spotted in Sapporo. That bear went on a bit of a rampage through the host city of the Olympic marathon race. Hopefully, organizers can keep the large beasts at a distance. The last thing you want in the middle of a 26.1-mile race is to see a 500lb bear charging at you.

As for the softball stadium bear, Asiatic black bears, much like their North American counterparts are much smaller than brown bears. An Asiatic black bear can stand around 5-feet tall and weigh around 200-250lbs. Eurasian brown bears, on the other hand, are much larger and reach weights of 500lbs+. These bears cover large portions of Europe, Asia, and even North America in Alaska and Canada. Occasionally they come into the contiguous United States.

Various regions have their own subspecies of brown bears that are similar, but not exactly identical throughout the globe. The flag bearers were recently announced for Team USA and as of right now, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are going to continue on into the opening ceremony. There have been a lot of issues leading up to the games, but organizers seem intent on making the event happen.