Nottingham

Zoo's stolen penguins found in Nottinghamshire

Stolen penguins Nottinghamshire Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption The stolen Humboldt penguins had been missing since November

Two stolen penguins have been rescued by unflappable police officers acting on a tip-off.

The Humboldt penguins were reported missing after they were taken from a zoo in November.

Nottinghamshire Police said they found the pair in Strelley village on Wednesday "after putting our beak in".

The birds have since been returned, and a 23-year-old man from Preston arrested on suspicion of burglary and theft has been released under investigation.

Sgt Andrew Browning said the report had ruffled a few feathers at the station.

'Off-the-wall'

"My first thought was this is one for the books, and one to tell the grandkids, because there's no way we thought we would go down there and actually find two penguins," he said.

"It was an unusual one. Even when we went down to custody it made everyone laugh, particularly the custody sergeant who was booking us in.

"It was a real off-the-wall find."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Humboldt penguins are native to South America

Native to South America, Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti) are named after the current of water in which they swim, which itself takes its name from Prussian explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

While not currently endangered they are listed as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which means they are at immediate or imminent risk of becoming endangered.

Police said they could not say which zoo the penguins had originally been taken from "for operational reasons".

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