Published: Wed, July 17, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Penguins detained in New Zealand after invading sushi bar

Penguins detained in New Zealand after invading sushi bar

Two blue penguins were first spotted under near a sushi bar located in New Zealand's capital city Wellington on Saturday.

They had already been returned to the harbour earlier that day but had snuck back in - possibly to try and grab a delicious fishy snack!

But it returned on Tuesday with an accomplice and officers said the "waddling vagrants" started building a nest beneath a sushi stall at Wellington Railway Station, in the heart of the city.

The department says the birds are quite common in Wellington harbour, which is home to about 600 pairs of penguins.

Little blue penguins are the smallest species of the flightless seabirds, standing 25 centimetres (10 inches) tall and weighing about one kilogram (2.2 pounds).

Wini Morris works at the sushi shop where the penguins hid. Their presence came to light after a shop keeper heard the penguins making cooing and humming sound.


"That's why I wouldn't be surprised if the owner of the sushi bar calls again to say "they're back", he told Radio New Zealand. She told the New Zealand Herald that the penguins were huddled beneath the shop where there's shelter from the cold.

Constable John Zhu helps apprehend the penguin fugitives.

Two of the aquatic birds took a fancy to Sushi Bi, in Wellington New Zealand, and forced their way into a warm spot under the shop.

"But it's adorable I think they're probably terrified but it's adorable".

He said at this time of year the penguins were pairing up and looking for sites where they could lay eggs, although fortunately they do not lay eggs until later in the winter in Wellington. "This is not the first time these little blue penguins entered a strangers" territory.

DOC Wellington operations manager Jack Mace warned locals not to get too close, as the penguins can deliver a nasty bite.

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