A man has admitted stealing two penguins which were discovered in a village in Nottinghamshire by police following a tip-off.
The Humboldt penguins were reported missing when they were taken from a zoo in Cumbria, in November 2018.
The birds were found by officers, in Strelley, on 16 January last year.
Bradley Tomes, 25, from Preston, pleaded guilty at South Cumbria Magistrates' Court on Thursday and is due to be sentenced on 16 October.
In January 2019, Reece Oliver told the BBC he paid nearly £10,000 for the penguins after seeing an advert on Facebook.
However, their microchips showed they had been taken from South Lakes Safari Zoo in Cumbria.
Mr Oliver, who runs a private conservation programme at his family farm in Strelley, informed Nottinghamshire Police which led to Tomes' arrest.