Seal Or Sea Lion Pup Abducted From Los Angeles Beach

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Whoever snatched a seal or sea lion pup from a Los Angeles beach early Sunday should not confuse the animal’s cuteness with its potentially vicious bite, according to an animal rescue expert.

Witnesses to the abduction said four people wrapped the pup in a blanket and left in a car around 3:20 a.m. from Dockweiler State Beach, just west of the city’s international airport, said Los Angeles Police Officer Rosario Herrera. The initial police report said the animal was a small seal. But a companion pup that escaped and was later found on the beach is a sea lion, according to Peter Wallerstein, the president of the group Marine Animal Rescue.

The rescued pup weighs about 25 pounds and is probably 10 months old, said Wallerstein, who stays in a trailer at the beach and was woken by security guards seeking his help. Sea lions of this size are “really small, really look cute, but they’re dangerous,” he said. “These are wild animals.”

They’re also not fit to be kept as pets.

“The animal needs fluids, needs special treatments,” he said. “You can’t just feed it dog food. It’s not going to work.”

Los Angeles police said an investigation was being conducted by the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A spokesman for the agency did not return phone messages or an email Sunday.

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