Porpoises constituted a good genetic model for this drug's action in humans, so they were designing a drug to make porpoises live longer -- even, indefinitely.
One of the critical components needed in this drug came from the organs of sea gulls. But to make it really effective, they needed to tinker with it. Eventually, they hit on the idea of doing some genetic engineering to add a couple of genes from African lions to their sea gulls and use the combined DNA to make their cetacean "elixir of life."
They had permission to use the porpoises at the local aquarium. Sea gulls were plentiful in the area. But lions were hard to come by. The only lions were in the local zoo, and the zoo was operated by the government, so they would have to get permission from the State Department of Natural Resources as the technical owner of the lions, who oversaw their care.
Well, somebody forgot to sign the form, but the team went and procured blood samples from the lions anyway. But that meant that when the (now signed) form showed up at the State DNR a week later, together with the information that the lions' DNA had already been collected, the State Police was alerted and State Troopers promptly arrested the entire research team.
Why? Because everybody knows it is illegal to cross State lions with gulls for immortal porpoises.