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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desks of Razumich & Delamater PAGE 1 International Space Day, Free Comic Book Day, and Star Wars Day PAGE 1 Brave Little Cher Ami PAGE 2 Genealogy Sites and the Warming of Cold Cases PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Strawberry Mango Paletas PAGE 3 The Price You Pay for Stealing a Penguin PAGE 4 Youwake up slowly, still groggy froma raucous night out with your friends. As you look around, taking stock of your surroundings, you see the other inhabitants: a desk, your shoes, a penguin …a penguin?! While footage confirms that two young Welshmen stole Dirk the penguin fromhis SeaWorld Australia home, the men had little memory of the night’s misadventures the next morning—until they sawDirk waddling around their rented apartment. The night before, after imbibing a hefty amount during their vacation in Australia, the men got the harebrained idea to break into SeaWorld and swimwith the dolphins. After getting inside, video footage captured them stripping down to their skivvies and running around the facility— until they spotted the penguin enclosure.“Look at them!”one said. Distracted from their original plan, they made their way to the penguins,
THIS ISWHAT HAPPENSWHENYOU STEAL A PROTECTEDANIMAL Animal Theft and Trespassing Don’t Go Unnoticed
grabbed one, and left. Dirk, the 7-year-old fairy penguin (the smallest species of penguin), was bred in captivity and had never left his enclosure. The next morning, realizing what they’d done, the three youngmen panicked and released Dirk into a nearby canal. But Dirk’s misfortunes weren’t quite over. He was chased out of the canal by what onlookers believe was a shark, only to be chased back in by a surprised dog. Fortunately, concerned passers-by called authorities, and SeaWorld workers came to rescue Dirk and bring himback to his family. Dirk returned unharmed to his partner, Peaches, but his kidnappers weren’t so lucky. Once a Facebook post recounting their misdeeds made its rounds, police traced the crime back to the twoWelshmen. They were charged with trespassing, stealing, and keeping a protected animal, and there was no shortage of public shaming as their crime circulated the
internet. Taking note of their letter of apology and admissions of guilt and regret, the judge enforced a heavy fine for the crime in lieu of jail time. Charges for kidnapping a protected animal vary from state to state, but the Endangered Species Act ensures perpetrators face harsh penalties, including fines andmaximum sentences. The Animal Legal Defense Fund also provides free legal assistance and training to help protect animals fromharm.
Be careful on your next night out, and please, enjoy wildlife without stealing it!
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