Humboldt County Sheriffs are currently investigating the theft of items stolen from the Wildlife Museum in Willow Creek early this morning. The total loss is estimated at three quarters of a million dollars.
The department received a call regarding an audible alarm at the museum at approximately 5 a.m. this morning. Responding deputies found the back door to the museum pried open. After meeting with representatives from the museum, they concluded that two ivory elephant tusks approximately 3’ in length, a mounted elk head, a bear skin rug and a kangaroo rug had been stolen. The total of the items stolen has been valued at $750,000. The department has no suspects at this time.
Carol Tonkin, whose 97-year-old father Aurthur owns the museum which first opened in 2006, told Action News Now the estimated value of the roughly 100 pound tusks is approximately $500,000 total. Tonkin’s father was a big game hunter who traveled the world and opened the museum to display his prizes. He first acquired the tusks from a hunting trip in Africa in 2001.
“They took very specific items and didn’t touch anything else,” Tonkin said. “All of it had sentimental value to my father, this is just not very good.”
Carol indicated she does not know who may have stolen the items, but will use any channel necessary to find the thieves and recover her father’s items. Her father Arthur first moved to the Willow Creek area in 1951 and their family have been residents ever since.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.