Two tiny blue penguins were heartbroken last weekend when they discovered that the fresh fish at their preferred nesting location wasn’t actually intended for them.
The site in Wellington, New Zealand, appeared ideal because there was not just easy access to food but it was also near to the waterfront. It was a sushi stand after all.
The koror penguin species’ two members had crossed a congested four-lane highway to mark their new territory. However, not everyone was pleased with their erratic new neighbors.
On Saturday night, a police officer saw one of the penguins on the street and guided him back to the water, which is when problems began. However, despite a severe warning, the “waddling vagrants,” as the Wellington District Police referred to the couple, continued to return to their nesting location.
The birds were back under the store the following morning. However, until hundreds of customers began inquiring about the penguins, Long Lin, one of the proprietors of Sushi Bi, was unaware that he had visitors.
These little blue penguins had to be removed from under a sushi store near the Wgtn railway station, not once – but twice.
The two little kororā showed a complete disregard for police authority after being removed from under a food truck, and returning later in the day. 😍😍 pic.twitter.com/i728NRe0LP
— First Up (@FirstUpRNZ) July 15, 2019
The harbor is home to about 600 pairs of penguins, but few are adventurous enough to cross the busy street. “We often have penguins in the harbor, but to have them in the city is rare,” Senior Sergeant Quentin Ward told The Dodo. “The irony that they end up under a sushi cart.”
On Monday afternoon, Lin discovered the duo under the store and lured them inside with some fresh fish. Lin told The Dodo, “[I’m] not really sure if that was their favorite cuisine. “But they did show up. I was certain they were starving.”
Holding the birds was an incredible experience for Lin. They felt like a stuffed toy and were rather hefty for their size, according to Lin. And they weren’t at all timid; they were rebellious.
The Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Wellington Zoo worked alongside the police to remove the birds from the shop a second time.
The DOC checked the penguins for injuries and signs of stress, and both were found to be in “good condition,” according to Ward.
The penguins were released into a more appropriate nesting site by the harbor. However, authorities fear that the sneaky birds may be on the run yet again, as their assigned nesting box has been found empty two days in a row.
Staff members at Sushi Bi are checking under the shop and keeping an eye on the salmon should their feathered guests return.