In the Media

British tourists fined for drunkenly stealing penguin from Australian theme park

PUBLISHED May 2, 2012

Rhys Owen Jones, 21, and Keri Mules, 20, pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court for trespassing, stealing and keeping a protected animal.

The pair who in Australia on a working holiday, were intoxicated after 1.5 litres of vodka before they entered Sea World park on Gold Coast.

Once inside they swam with dolphins and let off a fire extinguisher in a shark enclosure last month.

The pair then awoke the next morning with hangovers to find the penguin in their living room.

The court heard that hey tried to care for it by feeding it bread and putting it in the shower, but when they realised their huge mistake, they left the penguin in nearby Broadwater beach instead of contacting the theme park.

Dirk was later rescued and returned to the park.

The pair apologised for their mistake. The magistrates fined AUS$1,000 (£636) each.

Their lawyer Bill Potts said: "They tried their incompetent best to care for the penguin.

"Look, the boys realise they did something incredibly stupid and the boys understand that this just simply can't happen.

"They're just very pleased that in the end that no penguin was harmed."