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By Don Melvin and Carlo Angerer

If you happen to be walking through Mannheim, Germany, and see a penguin waddling down the street, call the police. The little fella's been stolen.

Mannheim police tweeted an announcement saying the Humboldt penguin was stolen Saturday from its enclosure in Luisenpark, a city park that includes attractions for children.

The description of the missing penguin is as follows: Height: Under two feet. Weight: 11 pounds. Distinguishing characteristics: A mark with the number 53 printed on it. (Just so you're sure you're not calling in about the wrong penguin.)

The situation is serious, said police in Mannheim, a city in southwestern Germany some 80 miles from the border with France.

The penguin requires special food and habitat conditions, without which it will not survive. It is also implanted with a microchip and therefore cannot be sold, police said.

Humboldts are native to coastal Chile and Peru. They are named after the cold water current in which it swims, which is in turn named after 19th century Prussian explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

A spokeswoman for the park said the theft came as a complete surprise.

"At first we couldn't believe it and said we have to count all the penguins again," said Alexandra Wind. "We searched the whole park."

But she said it would be easy for a person to get into the enclosure, given that the iron fence that surrounds it is only waist-high. She speculated that the thief or thieves might have stayed in the park after closing time.

Mannheim police said there was no CCTV footage showing the incident. They have requested help from the public, but so far have received no tips on the penguin's whereabouts.