Live Tarantula: A live insect museum is reeling after $40,000 worth of its rare species – including a venomous spider – was stolen from their collection in a brazen Philadelphia heist.

Thousands of creepy crawlies were stolen from the Philadelphia Insectarium & Butterfly Pavilion and investigators are working on the basis that the massive bug heist was carried out by former employees, reported the New York Times.

READ MORE: Live insect guts captured in all their gruesome glory (IMAGES, VIDEO)

Among the insects taken is a venomous spider, scorpions and millipedes and other exotic arthropods. “I’m not sure there’s ever been a larger live-insect heist,” museum owner John Cambridge told CNN. “Our insurance doesn’t cover this. This is unprecedented.” One of the creatures, a Mexican fireleg tarantula, has since been recovered and returned by police.

A GoFundMe page has been set up in an effort to help the museum get back on its feet after approximately 80 percent of its collection was nabbed in a raid that reportedly saw staff uniforms stabbed into the walls. In a statement on the museum’s official Facebook page, the insectarium thanked well wishers for their support.

“We know the road ahead is going to be long and difficult, but with the support of our peers and our communities, we are confident that we can come back better than ever,” the statement read.

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