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Rare tusks among items stolen from Northern California wildlife museum

WILLOW CREEK — Humboldt County authorities are searching for suspects who stole about $750,000 worth of elephant tusks and other rare goods from a small wildlife museum.

The sheriff's office says the break-in occurred early Friday morning at the Tonkin Wildlife Museum in Willow Creek. Deputies who received a call about an audible alarm found the museum's back door had been pried open.

The Eureka Times-Standard (http://bit.ly/1adtrm1) reports the stolen goods were the prized possessions of 97-year-old Arthur Tonkin, who hunted the animals that are displayed at the museum.

The missing items include a mounted elk head, bear skin rug, kangaroo rug and two ivory elephant tusks weighing 100 pounds each. The Tonkin family is offering a $1,000 reward for their return.

Officials say the museum has permits to display the ivory.

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