(Queensland, Australia) -- A fairy penguin has been reunited with his fellow animals after allegedly being stolen from an Australian theme park in a late night prank.
A seven-year-old fairy penguin was back in his enclosure on Monday (April 16) at an Australian theme park after allegedly being stolen by a group of late night revellers.
Dirk, from the small fairy species of penguins, began his adventures late on Saturday (April 14) night when three men allegedly entered Sea World on the Gold Coast and took the penguin home with them.
Local media said the men panicked on Sunday (April 15) morning when they discovered the animal in their apartment and put him in a local river.
Police were called by a member of the public who allegedly saw a picture of Dirk on social networking site Facebook.
Sea World were unaware Dirk was missing until they were contacted by police and a rescue mission was then launched.
Trevor Long, Sea World's Director of Marine Services, said Dirk was lucky to survive the adventure unscathed.
"This animal is a captive born animal, 7-years-old, never experienced things like boats or wide open spaces, so we are very fortunate to see Dirk back with his mates this morning," said Long.
Animal carers said the penguin was exhausted by the ordeal, but was now back in the enclosure with his breading partner, Peaches.
Dirk's return is timely with the penguins about to enter the breeding season.
Police have charged three men aged 18, 20 and 21 with trespass, stealing and unlawfully keeping a protected animal.