A thief who made off with a human toe used in a notorious cocktail served by a Dawson City bar has mailed the toe back to its owners, Yukon RCMP say.

Staff at the Downtown Hotel reported the theft last Sunday, saying someone had made off with one of the bar's mummified toes. The bar, located in a small community more than six hours north of Whitehorse, uses the toes in a drink they call a "Sourtoe Cocktail."

The bar apparently has some backup toes, but this one was donated recently by a man who had the toe surgically removed.

"We're just very, very, very happy to have it back," hotel manager Geri Coulbourne told CBC News on Friday.

Stolen toe

The missing toe, as seen by police after they opened the parcel. Police don't expect to lay any charges in the case. (RCMP)

The local RCMP detachment got a call on Tuesday from the man suspected of taking the toe, saying he had put the pilfered digit in the mail.

Coulbourne received the express mail package Thursday, and says the toe was — crucially — packed in a bag of salt.

"That was really nice, because it can't remain out of the salt for very long," she said. "It looked like it was in really good shape."

Indeed, RCMP said in a news release "at the time that the package was opened, the toe was believed to be in good condition."

Apology signed by 'A Drunken Fool'

The package also contained a letter of apology, which Coulbourne read to CBC News: "'I'm deeply sorry. I was way too drunk and lost my mind celebrating a special Yukon date. I returned it as fast as possible and not damaged. Sincerely, A Drunken Fool.'"

Coulbourne thinks the international attention tugged at the thief's heartstrings.

"He realized what he had done was a major blow to the community and I think he felt compelled to send it back."

The toe was marched back into the bar Thursday night to a chorus of cheers. But it's not back in rotation in the Sourtoe Cocktail just yet.

"I want Terry Lee, our toe master, to check it over and make sure everything's OK before we start using it again," Coulbourne said.

The RCMP said no charges will be laid.