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Thieves Made Off With $40,000 Worth of Rare Insects and Reptiles in Philadelphia

- Tetra Images—Getty Images/Tetra images RF
Tetra Images—Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Current or former employees stole 90% of the animals at the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion

(PHILADELPHIA) — Philadelphia police say current or former employees at an insectarium stole over $40,000 worth of rare insects and reptiles.

Authorities say the suspects stole about 90% of the animals at the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion on Aug. 22 and possibly other days. Police say staff uniforms were found stabbed into a wall with knives.

Police are searching the three suspects’ homes for the animals but no arrests have been made. They say some of the insects, including a Mexican fireleg tarantula, have been returned.
Insectarium chief executive Dr. John Cambridge believes the animals were stolen to be resold.

The organization has started a fundraising campaign to help replace the missing insects. Insectarium officials say they hope to restock their collection in time for the Philadelphia Oddities Expo in November.

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