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.
The trouble started on Saturday night when a police officer spotted one of the penguins on the street and led him back to the water. But one stern warning wasn’t enough to stop the “waddling vagrants,” as the Wellington District Police dubbed the pair, from returning to their nesting site.
The next morning, the birds were back under the shop. However, Long Lin, one of the owners of Sushi Bi, had no idea he had guests until hundreds of patrons started asking after the penguins.
As it turns out, the little birds weren’t entirely bad for business.
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 beneath the store and enticed them inside with some fresh fish. Lin told The Dodo, “[I’m] not really sure if that was their favorite cuisine. “But they did arrive; I knew 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 birds were taken out of the shop a second time with the assistance of the police, the Department of Conservation (DOC), and the Wellington Zoo.
According to Ward, the DOC examined the penguins for wounds and indications of stress and determined that both were in “excellent health.”
The penguins were released into a harborside nesting area that was more suitable. However, because their designated nesting box has been discovered empty for the last two days, officials worry that the crafty birds may be on the run once more.
Should their feathery companions return, the Sushi Bi staff is checking below the store and keeping an eye on the salmon.