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Fourth-Place Medal

Olympic shooting venue overrun by foxes

Fourth-Place Medal

(FPM illustration via Getty Images)


The reported $1.6 billion spent on Olympic security isn't keeping venues free from all intruders. A number of foxes have snuck into London's shooting venue and have chewed through cables, destroyed audio equipment and left, er, surprises near the medal podium at the Royal Artillery Barracks.

[Photos: London 2012 Olympic venues]

"The place is inundated with them," organizer Peter Underhill told BBC Sport. "I'm sure there's more than one. They lived here before we created the venue so, at night, they're getting into some of our enclosures, going around and chewing things."

Some competitors reported seeing the animals during a recent test event at the venue. While dropping off his guns in the locker room, Sydney gold medalist Richard Faulds caught a glance of an animal. His coach confirmed it was a fox.

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Guards who are already stationed at the venue at night will be tasked with shooing away the animals. And, before you ask: No, nobody is going to shoot a fox even though it seems like the most logical way to deal with the problem.

[Photos: Fifteen athletes to watch in London]

How could they? Despite the chewing and gnawing, these are generous, giving animals. "Rumor has it there was a little present left by [the medal podium] in the indoor rifle range," Faulds told the BBC.

You see? The foxes may be messing up audio and video equipment, but they come bearing gifts. And isn't that what the Olympic spirit is all about?

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