Zoo keepers fear stolen penguin will die if not returned

A Humboldt penguin. Credit: PA

A penguin has been stolen from its enclosure at a zoo in Germany, and keepers fear the bird could die if it is not returned soon.

Zookeepers at Luisenpark zoo noticed the Humboldt penguin was missing during a routine count on Saturday.

After a search of the zoo in the southwestern city of Mannheim, keepers were unable to find any signs that the 50cm (20in) penguin which weighs 5kg (11lbs) had escaped, and concluded it had been stolen.

The flightless has a number 53 on its wing and also has an identity chip.

The missing South American penguin requires a special diet and controlled environment and will fail to survive without these, zoo keepers said.