Three British tourists have been accused of stealing a penguin from Sea World on Queensland's Gold Coast after a drunken night out.
The Daily Mail
reports that three Welsh men, aged 18, 20 and 21, will appear in court on May 2 after allegedly breaking into the Australian marine park, stripping off to their underwear to swim with dolphins and stealing a fairy penguin.
The seven-year-old penguin called Dirk (pictured), was part of captive-bred breeding colony.
The men woke up the next morning to find Dirk in their accommodation and are reported to have released him into a canal.
He was found by a couple in an estuary the day after he was stolen. They said they saw Dirk chased out of the water, possibly by a shark, before being chased back in by a dog. He was later rescued by Sea World Staff and reunited with his mate, Peaches.
Sea World's director of marine sciences said: "They heard a scuffle in the water, and this penguin came out onto the sand. They thought it was very, very unusual, so they got on to their iPhone and googled 'lost penguin'. THat came up with the story, and from there they were able to contact us."
The three men were apparently caught by police after posting details of the incident on Facebook.
They have been charged with trespassing, stealing and unlawfully keeping a protected animal.
One of the men is reported as saying: "We're really sorry for all the trouble we've caused."
Click on the image below to see how baby zoo animals celebrate spring...
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These babies, named Sri Kandi (left) and Arjuna (right) were born at Tierpark, Berlin, Germany. They made their debut on 5 March 2012.</p>
- Asian Orang utan
Clinging to his mum, baby Changi meets his public for the first time at Krefeld Zoo, Germany.</p>
- White rhino
This little rhino, named Male, was born in January. He's pictured here with his mother, Mana, at Magdeburg Zoo, Germany.</p>
- Dingo puppies
The zoo at Tierpark in Berlin celebrated the birth of a litter of four dingo babies in January.</p>
- Shy baby giraffe
Only a few days old, this baby giraffe, named Kimarle, peaks out from her enclosure at the ZOOM Zoo in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany. The 170cm tall giraffe was born on March 9.</p>
- Squirrel monkey and mum
A one-month-old baby squirrel monkey clings to its mother's back at Qingdao Forest Wildlife Park, China.</p>
- Gorilla and mum
A two-week old baby gorilla is cuddled by her mum, Mumba, a Western Lowland Gorilla, at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Ashford, Kent.</p>
- Tiny hedgehog
Born at Cincinnati Zoo, US, this one-month old hedgehog is being hand reared by keepers until it is old enough to be included in the zoo's outreach programme.</p>
- Happy elephant
Ludwig the baby elephant is clearly happy to be out and about at the Tierpark Hellabrunn Zoo, Munich.</p>
- Cuddling meerkats
These cuties were born in February at Bristol Zoo Gardens.</p>
- Polar bear cub
This cub was born prematurely at Toronto Zoo. His mum rejected him soon after he was born, so he was cared for by staff at the zoo. Here he is making his debut in February.</p>
- Baby gorilla, Dublin Zoo
This six-month old baby Western Lowland Gorilla is seen here enjoying the spring sunshine with her mother at Dublin Zoo.</p>