Unknown predawn pranksters on Saturday surrounded the roadside statue in Cardiff-by-the-Sea with a papier mache model of a great white shark that appeared to be swallowing it whole.
Crowds of gawkers and photographers gathered around the 16-foot creation after the sun rose.
San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Tony Ray said no criminal report was filed because there was no damage to the statue.
The $120,000 sculpture called "Magic Carpet Ride" was commissioned by the Cardiff Botanical Society in 2007.
The statue has been bedecked with bras, skirts and witch hats so many times that locals have come to call it "The Cardiff Kook."