A sushi shop in New Zealand has had some unwelcome guests last week.
Two small penguins were found nesting under Sushi Bi, located near the Wellington railway station by the harbor. Police came to remove one penguin in the morning, and released him in a safer location.
Alas, he or she must have had a craving for maki, because the bird returned later that night with a friend in tow. Unfortunately, although the penguins are adorable, a busy railway station is not a safe place for them (or any potential chicks).
According to CNN, the penguins are known as kororā, a Maori word. The birds have blue plumage that makes them stand out.
The Wellington Police Department took to Facebook on July 15 to alert the public about the aquatic birds’ trespassing:
“We received a call about 8:40 p.m. on Saturday night of a penguin on the road in Featherson Street,” the caption read in part. “Police responded with some help from members of the public, released the penguin, described as ‘little and blue,’ back into the sea. Then today, about 6:35 a.m., police received another report of the penguin, this time with a companion, near Wellington Rail Station.”
The Wellington Zoo, as well as the Department of Conservation, worked together to place the penguin pair in a more appropriate location.
Wellington's little blue penguins with a taste for sushi have been moved to a nesting box. Our rangers report that they seemed to like it and were making cooing noises which is a good sign. https://t.co/klEHOa1FiF
— Department of Conservation (@docgovtnz) July 16, 2019
However, the repeat visitors are likely to continue showing up.
“It’s a natural characteristic of the penguins — they will always return to where they possibly were nesting,” Mike Rumble, a volunteer for the Department of Conservation who helped remove the penguins for the second time, told Radio New Zealand. “That’s why here, tonight, even though this is a good 200 meters to 300 meters away, I wouldn’t be surprised if the owner of the sushi bar says ‘they’re back.'”
According to Jack Mace, Wellington operations manager at the Department of Conservation, the birds are currently pairing up and seeking places to nest. It’s currently winter in New Zealand, and they’ll lay eggs later this season.
Aww! As cute as they are, here’s hoping that these little birds find someplace safer to nest!