A penguin stolen from Dublin Zoo was back in her home yesterday after a frantic search by police.

The ten-year-old penguin named Kelli was stolen from the zoo at about 8.a.m on Thursday morning. Four hours later police received a call that a penguin was wandering the streets of downtown Dublin and she was returned to the zoo.

A taxi driver reported that three men had hailed his cab with a bag containing a live animal. They told him it was a rabbit when he asked .
It is believed the abduction was an attempt at a prank but the zoo brass were far from pleased.

She was returned to the zoo in a agitated condition, where she was examined by a vet. Kelli calmed down after she was reunited with her partner, Mick.

Dublin Zoo brass said the theft was “not something amusing”.

“We wish to underline our annoyance at this incident. The welfare and health of all animals is our primary concern and this kind of incident is not frivolous and certainly not something amusing.”

A police spokesman said it is a criminal matter. “We are investigating the fact. It is the property of the zoo and that property was stolen.”

It has been more than 10 years since any animals were stolen from the zoo.