A human toe has fallen prey to some sticky fingers in Dawson City, Yukon.
And not just any toe — the gnarled digit is the essential ingredient in the famous "Sourtoe Cocktail" at the Downtown Hotel.
"We are furious," said the hotel's "Toe Captain," Terry Lee, in a news release. "Toes are very hard to come by."
The traditional Sourtoe Cocktail — a Klondike-inspired invention — involves a shot of whisky with the digit bobbing in the glass. The toe must touch the brave drinker's lips.
The hotel's posted fine for swallowing or stealing the toe is $2,500. It had been $500 until August 2013, when a patron gulped back the entire cocktail — toe and all — and slapped $500 on the table.
According to a news release on Monday, the hotel intends to fine and charge the thief "unless the Toe is returned safe."
"Stunts like this adversely affect the whole community, not just the Downtown Hotel. We fortunately have a couple of back up toes, but we really need this one back," Lee says in the release.
The theft of the toe is a big loss, said hotel manager Geri Coulbourne. She says the toe was donated by a man who had to have it surgically removed, then cured in salt for six months.
"This was our new toe, and it was a really good one. We just started using it this weekend," she said.
The hotel says the suspect is from Quebec and had earlier boasted about wanting to steal the toe. Lee says the man reportedly coaxed the bartender to serve him the drink after the nightly 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. "Toe Time."
"One of the new staff served it to him to be nice. And this is how he pays her back. What a low life."
The suspect also left behind his Sourtoe Cocktail certificate, awarded by the hotel.
"So the police have his name," the hotel's release says.