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French couple pays thousands for Savannah cat but gets a TIGER instead


The French couple pay thousands of pounds for a striped Savannah cat only to find out they've been sold a baby tiger instead

  • The couple from Le Havre in Normandy paid 6,000 euros for the animal upon delivery
  • For several days they did not notice that it was not a Savannah cat – a cross between a wild serval and a house cat – but a three-month-old Sumatran tiger cub
  • The tiger is an endangered species and is not considered an acceptable pet
  • A two-year investigation has resulted in nine arrests, including the unidentified pair of victims for trafficking protected species

A French couple who bought a “Savannah cat” for 6,000 euros were shocked after they got a tiger cub instead.

The unidentified couple from the port city of Le Havre, Normandy, paid for the kitten to be delivered after spotting an online ad.

However, for a few days they did not realize that it was not a savannah – a cross between a wild serval and a domestic cat – but a Sumatran tiger, and contacted the police.

While a savanna is listed as an acceptable pet, the tiger is not – and is protected by the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) treaty, which means it can't even be transported without paperwork.

A French couple who bought a “Savannah cat” for 6,000 euros were shocked after they got a tiger cub instead. The unidentified couple from the port city of Le Havre in Normandy paid for the kitten upon delivery after spotting an online ad. (Above, archive image of a Savannah cat)

The couple failed to realize for a few days that it was not a savannah - a cross between a wild serval and a domestic cat - but a Sumatran tiger, and contacted the police. (Above picture of a Sumatran tiger)

The couple failed to realize for a few days that it was not a savannah – a cross between a wild serval and a domestic cat – but a Sumatran tiger, and contacted the police. (Above picture of a Sumatran tiger)

Details of the case emerged after prosecutors produced a report released this week – two years after the tiger was seized.

Nine suspects, including the original pair of victims, were arrested for trafficking in human beings with a protected species. Others are accused of being involved in organized crime.

When the couple ordered the animal through a seller found online, an offer for payment on delivery was agreed.

However, the seller showed up in September 2018 with a three-month-old tiger from Indonesia, the couple said.

Despite the obvious differences, the two claimed they hadn't realized they had a tiger cub for a few days. At that point, they immediately called the authorities.

While a savannah is listed as an acceptable pet, the tiger is not - and is protected by the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) treaty, which means it can't even be transported without paperwork. (In the picture a Sumatran tiger and her cub)

While a savanna is listed as an acceptable pet, the tiger is not – and is protected by the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) treaty, which means it can't even be transported without paperwork. (In the picture a Sumatran tiger and her cub)

The tiger in question is a Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica), a protected species that is prohibited in private ownership.

The police were initially unclear where the tiger came from.

However, it had surfaced in Normandy – on selfies in Elbeuf and even in a rap video filmed in Petit-Quevilly in the Seine-Maritime department.

The investigation by the regional intervention group of the National Police and the Ministry of Security has now finally been completed.

The tiger appeared to be in good health, according to France Bleu, and was entrusted to the French Office for Biodiversity and was eventually given a new home, although the location was not disclosed.

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