Hungry little penguins who had to be removed by police from a sushi bar in New Zealand have returned for seconds.
The aquatic birds were first spotted in the early hours of the morning outside Wellington train station, before they took shelter under nearby Sushi Bi.
Police confirmed the ‘waddling vagrants were removed from their sushi stand refuge earlier today by Constable John Zhu’, after they were informed at around 6.30pm, RNZ reports.
The rebellious penguins were temporarily detained by police before being released back into Wellington harbour, however the birds have since crossed busy traffic lanes between the harbour and the station to the sushi bar one again, the owners of the shop confirmed.
They called the Department of Conservation who came and removed the penguins once again. They were already monitoring the site as it’s claimed this particular breed of penguin would likely attempt to return, despite being moved on.
Another little blue penguin was found nearby on Featherston Street and was also returned to the sea by the DOC.
According to DOC Wellington operations manager Jack Mace, the birds are common in the Wellington harbour, however this was the first time he had heard of them making their way into the station.
At this time of year, he said, the birds are pairing up and looking for places to lay their eggs, however they don’t lay their eggs until later in the winter in Wellington.
Mace warned people should keep a safe distance from penguins should they come across them, as they could have a nasty bite.
Wini Morris, who works in the sushi bar where the birds hid, told RNZ she heard them cooing and making a humming sound, suggesting it’s likely they hid near the grills beneath the shop where it’s warm.
It’s pretty insane the idea that some penguins are camping out under your shop.
But it’s adorable I think – they’re probably terrified but it’s adorable.
The conservation status of the birds is said to be ‘at risk’ and ‘declining’, making efforts to protect the penguins even more important.
DOC volunteer Mike Rumble helped remove the penguins the second time they entered the sushi bar, but he says it’s wishful thinking to believe the birds would say in the nesting box they were placed in on the water front.
He told RNZ:
It’s a natural characteristic of the penguins – they will always return to where they possibly were nesting.
That’s why here, tonight, even though this is a good 200m-300m away, I wouldn’t be surprised if the owner of the sushi bar says ‘they’re back’.
Here’s to hoping the birds find somewhere safe to lay their eggs.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.