A pet shop manager has been caught attempting to steal a penguin from a zoo in southern Japan. A security guard at the Nagasaki Bio Park noticed Akira Honda, 24, ushering the Humboldt Penguin into his suitcase in January. According to the zoo, the penguin is worth about Y400,000 (£2,960).Mr Honda told police that he had run up debts which he intended to pay off by selling the creature to a collector.
Humboldt Penguins are native to South America and grow to around 27 inches tall and up to 13lb in weight. They are currently listed as vulnerable, due largely to the destruction of their habitats, and an estimated 12,000 survive in the wild.Police investigating the case have since determined that Mr Honda began his pet theft spree in November by snatching a capybara – worth some Y150,000 (£1,100) – from the animal petting section of Uninonakamichi Seaside Park in Fukuoka.