Penguin stolen from Dublin Zoo


A penguin was found on the street in Dublin today after being stolen from the zoo in a suspected prank.

The female penguin was kidnapped by a gang of men at about 8am from the Phoenix Park and discovered several hours later a few miles away in the north inner city.

It is believe the men broke in to the zoo before carrying her out and making off in a taxi.

The penguin at the centre of the kidnap ordeal was a 10-year-old female called Kelli. She is a Humboldt, a small breed native to parts of South America, mainly Chile. It is understood the penguin was tracked through a microchip, fitted to all animals in the zoo.

Gardaí were alerted to the theft this morning.

In a statement, Dublin Zoo described the theft as an annoyance and “not amusing”.

“Dublin Zoo confirms that a penguin which had been missing has been returned,” a zoo official said.

“The penguin went missing this morning at 8am but due to the security measures that are in place at Dublin Zoo and the rapid response of gardaí, the penguin was soon recovered and returned.

“Dublin Zoo was naturally relieved that the animal was returned safe and unharmed and back at the zoo. We wish to underline our annoyance at this incident.

“The welfare and health of all animals is our primary concern and this kind of incident is not frivolous and certainly not something amusing.”

Zoo staff thanked the gardaí for their help in tracing the stolen animal and said she was none the worse for her outing after being safely returned to her enclosure. 

There were no reports of any damage to zoo property.