Japanese Man Arrested For Stealing Penguin

The Penguin Post has learned that a security guard at the Nagasaki Bio Park noticed Akira Honda, 24, ushering the Humboldt Penguin into his suitcase in January. According to the zoo, the penguin is worth about Y400,000 ($4000) on the penguin black market..

Mr Honda told police that he had run up debts which he intended to pay off by selling the creature to a collector.

Humboldt Penguins are native to South America and grow to around 27 inches tall and up to 13lb in weight. They are currently listed as vulnerable, due largely to the destruction of their habitats, and an estimated 12,000 survive in the wild.

Police investigating the case have since determined that Mr Honda began his pet theft spree in November by snatching a capybara – worth some Y150,000 ($2000) – from the animal petting section of Uninonakamichi Seaside Park in Fukuoka.

Capybaras are the largest living rodents in the world and are natives of South America.

The stolen animal, which can weigh up to 143lb, died in December.

Mr Honda is also charged with stealing a squirrel monkey, also worth around £1,100, from Nagasaki Bio Park on January 18. He later sold the monkey to a collector in Yokohama.  His Humboldt Penguin would have been his priciest animal theft to date had he not been caught.

Humboldt Penguins are worth almost $4000 on the Japanese black market.


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