British tourists fined for stealing a PENGUIN in drunken raid on Australian Sea World

Fined: Rhys Owen Jones (left) and Keri Mules (right) were on a working holiday in Australia when they got drunk and stole the penguin

Two British tourists who woke the morning after the night before to find a penguin in their room have been fined.
In a scene that could have come out of the movie Hangover, the Welshmen admitted to a court on Queensland's Gold Coast that they could not remember much about what had happened the night before, when they had been drinking heavily.
Former UK marine Rhys Owen Jones, 21 and bricklayer Keri Mules, 20 both from Cardiff, were each fined $1,000 (£640) and were told by magistrate Brian Kucks that they were lucky they had not fallen into the polar bear enclosure or the shark tank when they broke into the Sea World theme park near Surfers Paradise.

Trip of a lifetime: The pair pose up with two female friends before their arrest

'You could have found yourselves in a morgue,' he told them.
The court was told that the pair, who are on working holidays in Australia and staying in a flat on the Gold Coast, drank 1.5 litres of vodka between them before deciding to have a close look at Australia's marine life.
Breaking into Sea World, they set off a fire extinguisher in the shark tank and swam with the dolphins before taking Dirk the penguin, police told the court.
The Gold Coast Bulletin reported that the Welshmen were located after a Facebook friend read about their boasts - they had posted photos of themselves with Dirk in their flat before they passed out from the alcohol they had consumed.

Back home safe: Dirk the penguin safely back in his enclosure after being stolen by drunken Brits and then dumped in a waterway at risk of shark attack

When they woke the next day, the court heard, they saw the penguin in the flat but they could not remember stealing it.
In a panic, they released it into a nearby waterway, not realising the small bird was at risk of being attacked and killed by a bull shark.
The hand-reared penguin's disappearance resulted in a large search by staff - before a local couple saw it near a pier and called the authorities.
Jones and Mules pleaded guilty to trespassing, stealing and unlawfully keeping a protected animal.
Their lawyer said they 'deeply regretted' their actions and were highly embarrassed by the publicity

On camera: The men filmed themselves diving into the enclosure and stealing Dirk

Taking the plunge: The trio have been charged with trespassing and stealing a protected animal and will appear in court on May 2

Prank: The three men allegedly planned to sell the videotape to raise money for a lawyer

Magistrate Kucks agreed not to record convictions because it would ruin their hopes of one day living in Australia - but he warned them against future drinking exploits.
'You could have found yourselves in a morgue if you'd gone into the wrong enclosure,' he told them.
'Perhaps next time you are at a party you will consider drinking a little less vodka'
A third Briton, James Vasilj, who was with the men on the night and is facing a trespassing charge, will appear before the court on June 27.

source: dailymail