Penguin rescued after being ‘kidnapped’ from Salzburg zoo

Penguins aren't native to Austria, so a passerby was surprised to spot one on a Salzburg footpath. File photo: Jean van der Meulen/Pexels
Police on Thursday said they had rescued a penguin four days after it was stolen from Salzburg's zoo.

Salzburg police were called after a passerby spotted the unusual sight of a penguin walking down a footpath in the south of the city. It turned out to be a three-month-old bird that had been stolen from the city zoo four days earlier.

When staff realized the young penguin was missing from the enclosure on Sunday, at first the zoo thought a predator had killed the animal. But “after a meticulous search by employees [for animal tracks], the penguin seemed to have disappeared without a trace,” police said.

The penguin is now safe and sound in the zoo, reunited with his parents Mhambi and Squid, and described as “hungry but unharmed”.

It’s unclear who is responsible for the theft, but the zoo are confident the penguin didn’t escape, because in that case they would have expected him to show evidence of injuries or attack, zoo spokesperson Ulrike Ulmann told Salzburger Nachrichten.

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