Source Pravda.Ru

Keepers fear penguin snatched as movie-themed Christmas gift

A baby &to=http://english.pravda.ru/fun/2002/03/06/26831.html' target=_blank>penguin thought to have been snatched from a zoo as a quirky festive gift is unlikely to survive until Christmas Day, his keeper warned Tuesday.

Toga, a 3-month-old jackass penguin, was stolen from Amazon World on the Isle of Wight in southern England on Saturday.

Zoo manager Kath Bright said the bird, which was taken from a compound where he lived with his parents and four other penguins, would probably die of malnutrition if not urgently returned.

"Toga is very, very vulnerable. The penguin is still being fed by his parents and we don't believe it could survive more than five days," Bright told The Associated Press.

"The bird has already been missing for around three days and is likely to be severely dehydrated. If he isn't returned before Thursday he is likely to become so ill that even intensive care treatment won't save him."

The brown and white penguin will bite if frightened and refuses to be fed by human hand, Bright said. Toga is too young to have yet had a gender confirmed, but along with tradition, is referred to as a male, she added.

Bright said there was no sign of forced entry to the pen, but said a thief would have been able to climb into the compound and carry Toga away.

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