“Hangover” Tourists Fined For Stealing Penguin

This just in to the Penguin Post.  Swift justice in Australia as British tourists who broke into an Australian Sea World and stole a penguin following a drunken night out have now been fined $1,030 each, according to reports.  Of the trio who committed the mayhem that night only two were British, Rhys Owen Jones, 21, and Keri Mules, 20.  Both appeared before magistrates in Brisbane Wednesday and pleaded guilty to trespassing, stealing and keeping a protected animal, Australia’s Department of Justice said. The two friends, from Wales, were arrested after breaking into Sea World on Queensland’s Gold Coast during an alcohol-fueled escapade on April 14. They also swam with dolphins and let off a fire extinguisher in a shark enclosure, according to a BBC News report.  The pair were in the country on a working holiday visa when the incident took place. They sneaked into the animal park along with Australian James Vasilj, 18, after drinking vodka at a beach party, according to a report on news website Wales Online. They then snatched the fairy penguin, called Dirk, from an aquarium before waking up with the flightless bird in their apartment the following day, the report said. The friends’ lawyer Bill Potts told Southport Magistrates’ Court that they meant no harm to the animal and tried to care for it by feeding it and putting it in the shower when they woke up with hangovers, a situation reminiscent of the film, The Hangover. Jones and Mules took photo and video footage of the animal before releasing it into a canal, but were arrested after a friend saw updates they had posted about their antics on Facebook and reported them to police. Magistrate Brian Kucks heard how the pair had written a letter of apology to Sea World and the Australian public, and deeply regretted their actions. He was reported to have told the pair, “You could have found yourselves in a morgue if you’d gone into the wrong enclosure. Perhaps next time you are at a party you will consider drinking a little less vodka.” Vasilj, who is facing a single charge of trespassing, had his case adjourned to June 27.



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