A pair of cat lovers didn’t exactly get the purebred they were looking for when they replied to an ad for Savannah kittens.
The unnamed French couple responded to online ad for Savannah cats in 2018 and paid about 6,000 euros ($A10,000) for what they thought was a pure bred Savannah – a mix of an African serval and a domesticated feline.
However after a week they apparently realised they had purchased a rare Sumatran tiger cub, according to France Bleu.
The couple said they were initially unaware they were raising a tiger, which is illegal in France, and had called police as soon as they became suspicious they did not have a domestic feline.
The tiger cub from Indonesia is a protected species with less than 400 left in the wild, according to World Wildlife Fund.
The tiger cub has since helped police to unravel an international animal trafficking ring.
After two years of investigation, nine people from the regions of Rouen and Le Havre were arrested on suspicion of animal trafficking, including the couple who claimed to be unaware of the tiger, according to local outlet 76actu.
French police reports claim the tiger cub featured in a rap video on social media before it was sold to the French couple but it’s unclear where the tiger was initially bred from.
The tiger cub is in good health and was handed over to the French Biodiversity Office and admitted to "an adapted structure”, according to 76actu.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.