New Zealand: Kiwi police detain penguins

Penguins at Wellington sushi shop

Penguins at Wellington sushi shop

The pair were temporarily detained by Wellington police before being released back into Wellington Harbour, they said.

Two cheeky little penguins had to be removed for a second time from a sushi shop in Wellington, New Zealand.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) had been monitoring the site as it was thought that they were likely to return. Their presence came to light after a shop keeper heard the penguins making cooing and humming sound.

However, the owners of the shop tonight told RNZ the birds had again crossed busy traffic lanes between the harbour and the station to the sushi bar. Once inside, the penguins confounded wildlife officers by hiding under a refrigeration unit.

It turns out the penguins were sheltering under the sushi bar, attracted both by its fishy aroma and the protection it afforded from predators, according to local Department of Conservation manager Jack Mace.

"But it's adorable I think they're probably terrified but it's adorable".

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Constable John Zhu helps apprehend the penguin fugitives.

Blue penguins, also known as Little Penguins, are native to New Zealand and are now classified as having a "declining" conservation status.

Following the incident, Wellington District Police took to the Facebook page saying, "A couple of penguins have been released following temporary detainment by Wellington Police".

He said: "It's a natural characteristic of the penguins - they will always return to where they possibly were nesting". Jack also said that people should maintain distance from the penguins, as they are chances they could bite.

But, the criminals returned on Monday evening, apparently scoping out a place where they could nest.

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