Oct. 9 (UPI) — A French couple who purchased what they thought was an exotic Savannah cat from an online ad ended up turning the feline over to authorities when it turned out to be a tiger cub.
Prosecutors in La Havre said the couple encountered an online ad in 2018 offering a baby Savannah cat, a cross between a domestic cat and an African serval, for sale.
The couple paid about $ 7,000 for the kitten, but after about a week in their care, the couple suspected the feline was not a Savannah cat, which is legal to keep as a pet in France, but a Sumatran tiger, an endangered species native to Indonesia.
The prosecutors said the incident sparked a two-year investigation that culminated this week with nine people being arrested. The couple who purchased the cat were among those arrested, but were later released by police.
Authorities said animal trafficking charges are being sought in the case.
The tiger cub now is in the care of the French Biodiversity Office.