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2 accused in court for ‘freeing’ penguin

PORT ELIZABETH – Two men have appeared in court in South Africa accused of stealing a penguin called “Buddy” from a marine park and releasing him into the sea, police said Friday.

Adrian Donian, 22, and Emile du Plessis, 24, made a brief appearance in Port Elizabeth magistrate’s court Thursday on charges of theft and malicious damage to property.

Buddy, an endangered African black-footed penguin, was taken from Bayworld Oceanarium in Port Elizabeth in a nighttime raid last week, triggering international concern over his fate as he is likely to die in the wild.

He was wrapped in a shirt, bundled in a car, and taken the short distance to the coast where he was released into the Indian Ocean.