Thousands of Insects Stolen from Insectarium in Philadelphia

More than 80 percent of the insects in the Insectarium and Butterfly Pavillion in Northeast Philadelphia were stolen last week in what police suspect was an inside job.

The animals are worth up to $50,000 according to museum officials, who started a fundraising campaign to replace them.

"We strive to bring insects and other arthropods to the public in a way that they can be loved and appreciated," it said on the fundraising page. "Where our mission stands strong, a significant number of our animals have been stolen and we are reaching out so that we can continue to educate and engage people with the wonderful world of insects.

"The stolen animals include insects and arthropods used in school programs, exhibits throughout the museum, and behind the scenes rearing and feeding programs."

A Fox29 report says the museum and police suspect an inside job, possibly former employees, and the thieves took exotic tarantulas, scorpions, millipedes and reptiles. 

New York Times article says 7,000 animals were taken, although a handful have been recovered.

"We believe these were taken for the purpose of resale," Cambridge was quoting as saying.