LOS ANGELES (AP) — Animal rescue experts say that whoever snatched a seal or sea lion pup from a Los Angeles beach early Sunday should not be fooled by the animal's cuteness — they could suffer a vicious bite.

A witness told police four people wrapped the pup in a blanket and left in a car around 3:20 a.m. from Dockweiler State Beach.

The witness said the two men and two women in their early to mid-20s were harassing and taunting the animal prior to the abduction.

Marine Animal Rescue group president Peter Wallerstein says sea lions are wild animals and not fit to be kept as pets.

The federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is investigating the abduction because babysea lions are a protected species. Police began a cruelty to animal investigation.

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