Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Tourists fined for Sea World penguin-napping

Tourists fined for Sea World penguin-napping
May 3, 2012

The saga of the theft of a fairy penguin from Gold Coast theme park Sea World has come to a close with the two young Welsh tourists who stole the penguin being fined $1,000 for trespassing, theft and keeping a protected animal.

According to Brisbane newspaper The Courier-Mail, Rhys Owen Jones, 21, and Keri Mules, 20, pleaded guilty to the offences in front of magistrates in Brisbane this week.

Jones, a former British Royal Marine, and Mules, a bricklayer, were in Australia on a working holiday visa when they broke into Sea World and stripped off to go swimming with dolphins, let off a fire extinguisher in the shark enclosure, and stole the fairy penguin, named Dirk.

The pair snuck into the park with an 18-year-old Australian called James Vasilj after a beach party.

Jones and Mules lawyer Bill Potts told Southport Magistrates' court that the pair meant no harm to the bird, and attempted to feed it and put it in the shower when they woke up the next day.

Potts told magistrate Brian Kucks that the boys' actions were "immature and stupid" but that no malice was involved.

The tourists released seven-year-old Dirk into a canal where he was later spotted by a member of the public and returned to Sea World and his mate Peaches.

The magistrate heard how the pair had written a letter of apology to Sea World, and agreed to an appeal not to record convictions against them, merely fining them $1,000 each.

Jones and Mules were identified as the penguin-nappers when someone spotted photos on Facebook of them posing with Dirk before his release and turned them in.

16th April 2012 - STOLEN SEA WORLD FAIRY PENGUIN RECOVERED

21st December 2011 - SEA WORLD WELCOMES BABY GENTOO PENGUIN FOR CHRISTMAS

20th May 2011 - SEA WORLD RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM FOR PENGUIN ENCOUNTER EXHIBIT 

2nd October 2010 - $20 MILLION BOOST FOR CONSERVATION AND NATURE-BASED TOURISM IN WA


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Aquaspin

AQUASPIN™ - Aqua Cycling Aquaspin™’s sessions have been specially designed by our Master Trainer to be challenging yet fun group cycling sessions. Each session is tailored to…

read more

Aquatics / Fitness / Recreation / Wellness

 
 
 

THE FITNESS GENERATION

The Fitness Generation is now part of NovoFit - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/novofit/

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Centaman Entrance Control

Turnstile Entry Systems and Access Control Centaman Entrance Controls’ Award Winning Range of Access Control Systems includes tripod & triarm turnstiles, speedgates, full height…

read more

Access / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

HQH FITNESS

HQH Fitness is an international company that specialises in improving the health, fitness and wellness of people everywhere. We are the South Pacific distributors for Total Gym/GRAVITY Education and…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

AAC ID SOLUTIONS

AAC ID Solutions is a leading supplier of identification access wristbands, barcoded wristband tickets, lanyards, membership products and RFID solutions for events and venues, working with thousands…

read more

Access / Marketing / Safety / Ticketing

 
 

DEBITSUCCESS

Over the past 10 years Debitsuccess has been providing expert billing services to businesses across Australia. Debitsuccess is now the largest full service direct debit provider in Australasia,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Golf / Recreation

 
 

TECHNOGYM AUSTRALIA

Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia  and Australia, Technogym exports its…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business