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article imageTourists fined after stealing penguin during drunken holiday

By Leigh Goessl     May 4, 2012 in Odd News
Two men that admitted to stealing a penguin from a Sea World park in Australia while they were on a drunken bender have been fined for their actions.
Last month the men had attended a beach party while on a working holiday, sharing 1.5 liters of vodka. After their drink, the pair decided to explore the protected wildlife residing at Sea World, which ended in them stealing a penguin.
Digital Journal had reported on their arrest, where the men had been caught after posting about their prank on Facebook.
Reports say the duo woke up the next morning, hungover, with a penguin in their room. Not sure what to do, the men tried to feed it bread and also had placed the penguin in the shower.
They then released the protected animal, who was raised in captivity, into a nearby body of water.
It turned out the men had gone on a bit of an adventure the night before that extended beyond penguin stealing. Reportedly, they swam with dolphins and also ventured near the shark area where they set off a fire extinguisher.
According to the Australian, the two Welshmen pleaded guilty this week in an Australian court to trespassing, stealing, and keeping a protected animal.
Rhys Owen Jones, 21, formerly of the Royal Marines, and bricklayer Keri Mules, 20, entered a plea of guilty on Wed. for their actions of Apr. 14.
Their attorney, Bill Potts, said in court, "They tried their incompetent best to care for the penguin."
Magistrate Brian Kucks stated to the defendants, "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."
BBC News reported the magistrate noted their actions were "immature and stupid, but there was no malice involved," and they each received a fine of $1,000 Australian dollars.
A third man, James Vasilj, 18, has been charged with trespassing, however his case was adjourned until June 27.
BBC News reported Sea World was relieved to have Dirk the fairy penguin back safe. Locals had called in after seeing the penguin in the canal where it had been left. Seven-year-old Dirk is reportedly doing well back in his home with his partner Peaches.
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