This was no ordinary shellfish theft. In fact, you could call it a giant ‘clam-ity’

A giant clam specimen ― worth thousands of dollars ― was discovered missing form UH Manoa’s campus.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 4:29 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Call it a clammy caper.

On Monday, a giant clam specimen ― worth thousands of dollars ― was discovered missing form UH-Manoa’s campus.

“We actually noticed it was gone a couple of weeks ago, but so many of us use it.” said Caitlyn Genovese, a University of Hawaii doctoral student who assists in teaching a zoology lab.

“It could have been used for outreach or something where somebody moved it.”

Genovese consulted with the other teaching assistants and, eventually, put two and two together.

The clam wasn’t out on display. It had been stolen.

“We were so shocked that somebody could take it because it was so heavy,” said Genovese. “So we were really interested in how they got it out of here.”

This is no ordinary clam. It weighs about 100 pounds.

“It’s been in the university for a long time, as long as anybody can remember,” said Amy Moran, professor of life sciences. “It was probably 40 or 50 years old when it was collected.”

Moran and her students filed a police report once they figured out they had a shellfish thief on their hands. Pun intended.

“I wondered how it would sound when I called this public safety did tell them that we lost the clam,” Moran said.

The Honolulu Police Department and the UH Department of Public Safety talked to Moran and her students. HPD valued the clam at $7,000.

Moran said they took the matter very seriously.

And less than a day later, it was brought back.

“They did say that it was found with a bunch of keys,” Moran said.

“And there have been a lot of thefts in the buildings. So I’m really hopeful that they caught the people that have been really active in stealing things off-campus.”

HPD said no information will be released at this time because the investigation is still ongoing. Officials told Moran it was a joint investigation and effort by HPD and campus security to bring back the clam.

“They’ll be able to use it and observe it and then help them to learn and grow,” said Emilio Puga, a marine biology undergraduate student. “So I’m happy that it’s home.”

He’s about as happy as a clam.

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