The flightless bird had escaped from his home on a farm about a mile away.
A friendly penguin was spotted “plodding” up a Nottinghamshire village street in the early hours of the morning.
Police officers came across the distinctive bird last weekend as they were on patrol in Strelley, west of Nottingham.
Revealing details of the unusual encounter for the first time on Sunday, Nottinghamshire Police said the “friendly” Humboldt penguin was spotted taking a stroll and subsequently questioned by officers.
They said they “quickly moved to question him on what he was doing walking in the middle of the road”.
The cheeky chappie had escaped from a farm enclosure about a mile away, police said, and officers decided to nickname him “Po-Po”.
PC Gareth Philp said: “We see some very interesting things while out on patrol, but a penguin walking up the middle of the road has to be one of the more bizarre findings we have come across.
“We nicknamed him Po-Po.
“He posed for some pictures with us and he was very friendly with our officers while we made contact with his owner.
“He was then safely returned home.”
Neighbourhood Inspector Gordon Fenwick added: “Our officers are trained to deal with a variety of incidents with complex demands and it is great that we quickly reunited the penguin with their owner.”
According to DEFRA, you can only keep a wild bird if it was taken legally, meaning under licence or if it was taken from the wild and has been kept as it is unfit to be released back into the wild.
You do not need to have a licence to keep a wild bird, but you can be prosecuted and may have to pay an unlimited fine if you cannot prove the bird was taken legally.