Two male students, who confessed to stealing a penguin from Port Elizabeth’s marine park, now face criminal charges.
A case has been opened against the pair after they snatched Buddy the penguin from his enclosure at Bayworld, and released him into the sea, near Pollock Beach.
Bayworld's Dylan Bailey explains that the young men disagreed with idea of animals in captivity, and thought they were doing the right thing by setting the bird free.
However, the snatchers may have done more harm than good for the endangered three-year-old African black-footed penguin.
Buddy was hatched at Bayworld and, because he was raised as a captive bird, he has not been exposed to the wildlife environment to learn survivals skills such as foraging.
All of the seabirds and seals we have here were all actually stranded animals that couldn't be released one way or another— Dylan Bailey, manager at Bayworld marine park
Bailey explains that, if Buddy is not found in the next three weeks, the bird may not make it on his own.
Bayworld management hopes the bird comes ashore or comes into pr
Meanwhile, the penguin snatchers may be liable for damages to the property, face community service or jail time.
Listen to the full conversation from The John Maytham Show (with Africa Melane):