2nd May 2012 9:13am | By Jahn Vannisselroy
Next time you’re out for a big night on the town in Queensland, think twice before you end up swimming with dolphins and nicking a penguin, lest you end up like Welsh tourists Rhys Owen Jones, 21, and Keri Mules, 20.
The pair were before the Southport Magistrates Court yesterday after pleading guilty to guilty to trespass, stealing and keeping a protected animal after a wild night out, during which they broke in to Sea World, swam with dolphins, let off a fire extinguisher into a shark tank and stole Dirk, a penguin.
Magistrate Brian Kucks hit them with a $1000 (£650) fine and told them they were lucky not have stumbled into a polar bear encosure or fallen into a shark tank.
He accepted an appeal not to record convictions against the pair, because it would ruin their hopes of one day living in Australia.
Cleverly dressed in a penguin tie, the young men’s lawyer, Bill Potts, said his clients meant no harm to Dirk.
When they woke with hangovers and found the bird in their room they fed him bread and put him in the shower.
The mates then put Dirk into a nearby canal, but first they took photos and video and bragged on Facebook about their adventure.
A friend saw the posts and alerted the police in Australia who then arrested the young men.