CHARLOTTETOWN -- Police have arrested three teenage boys as suspects in an investigation that was launched after about 50 dead seals were found last month on a beach in Prince Edward Island.

The RCMP says the boys, aged 15, 17, and 18, have been released into the custody of their parents until they appear in court on April 11.

The Mounties say they have not been charged yet but will face charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

The RCMP and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans began an investigation after the seals were found on Jan. 27.

A necropsy done by the Charlottetown-based Atlantic Veterinary College on 10 grey seal pups determined that they all had severely fractured skulls.