04/23/2012 10:44 am ET Updated Apr 23, 2012

Penguin Stolen From Sea World Australia By Drunk Thieves

It might have been worse -- the alleged thieves could have stolen a tiger and it could have belonged to Mike Tyson.

In what the Internet is roundly calling a real-life version of the movie The Hangover, three friends allegedly admit to breaking into Sea World Australia, swimming with the dolphins and stealing a penguin, according to 7News.

The three friends sent footage of the penguin to the TV station, hoping to prove they meant the animal no harm during what they insist was a drunk prank gone too far.

An ABC News blog explains that, upon waking up with a penguin in their midst, one of the friends allegedly panicked and dropped the bird off at a "nearby waterway known to have sharks," according to police.

The Telegraph reports that a couple found the penguin after he had been scared out of the water (possibly by a shark) and chased by a dog.

"He was extremely disheveled, he was quite exhausted last night after we did catch him but ... he's settled down well," a Sea World spokesperson told The Telegraph.

The men face charges of trespassing, stealing and unlawfully keeping a protected animal.

One of the suspected thieves expressed contrition for what he'd done.

“Yeah I wouldn't go stealing any animals," Rhys Jones told News3. "It's not the brightest thing to do.”

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