Penguin thief escapes to outback

A WELSHMAN convicted of stealing a penguin from a Gold Coast theme park during a drunken binge says he was forced to run away to the outback to escape angry animal lovers.

Rhys Jones, 21, told his hometown paper Welsh today on the weekend that he had relocated to Goondiwindi after being fined $1000 in court for the theft on Dirk the fairy penguin from Sea World last month.

In events that could have formed the script of The Hangover 3, Jones and his pals broke into the aquatic park, set off a fire extinguisher in the shark tank, swam with dolphins and then had the bright idea of taking Dirk home.

Jones told Wales Today: "I can remember swimming with the dolphins and then I woke up that morning, grabbed my wallet, went to get changed, opened my cupboard and there was a bloody penguin in my cupboard - in my walk-in wardrobe".

The boozy friends released Dirk into shark infested waters but he was rescued and returned to Sea World.

Jones said while people at home may "laugh", he had been forced to move away from the Gold Coast where he had lost three business contracts as a result of his actions.

Topics:  penguin the hangover

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