Who would steal a penguin? German authorities are asking themselves the same thing after a rare penguin disappeared from a zoo in the city of Mannheim.
Photo Credit: Flickr, William Warby
Staff members at the Luisenpark zoo noticed the penguin's absence on Saturday and concluded that it had neither escaped nor been eaten by another animal, according to the news site Deutsche Welle.
The rare penguin — a Humboldt penguin — has distinctive face markings, a microchip, and a tag inscribed with the number 53 on one of its wings.
Stealing such an easily identifiable bird doesn't sound like the smartest move, but maybe we're missing something.
"We hope that the perpetrator's common sense prevails and that he quickly gives back the penguin," said a spokesperson for the Mannheim Police Department.
Humboldt penguins come from Chile and Peru, where they make nests in piles of their own poo.
Guano harvesting (read: "poop stealing," not to sell to pervs on the internet but mostly to use in fertilizers) has shrunk their population to the extent that the U.S. Endangered Species Act classifies them as a vulnerable species.
In other words, humans have taken enough from these penguins. Let's hope that somehow the zoo made a mistake, and No. 53 really escaped to build itself the poop castle of its dreams.