I am not an advocate for wild animals as pets, so I want to preface this post by saying exactly that. We live in a world where pretty much anything and everything is accessible right at our fingertips. And it isn’t this way because of the pandemic, either. In 2018, a French couple decided that they wanted to add a Savannah cat to their family. For those who don’t know, this is a hybrid cat breed, and an expensive one at that. Which, clearly, you can order online. That is, unless what you ordered is not what you’d planned for.
The Savannah is a large cat breed is a cross between a domestic cat and an African cat called a Serval. Medium-sized with large ears, there’s no doubt that Servals are cute. They are, however, wild animals. They should never be subjected to life as a house cat. Forcing a wild animal to act domesticated is cruel, and it usually leads to dangerous situations. Aside from these obvious facts, many people choose to keep them as pets. And many states and countries don’t impose regulations against doing so.
The couple began doing their research online back in 2018 before deciding on what they felt was the perfect kitten for their family. Mind you, one with an approximate $7,000 price tag. Waited they did for their Savannah to arrive. But, what showed up was far from what they bargained for. Instead of their wild kitty turned hopefully domesticated house cat, a tiger cub was presented to them in place of the Savannah kitten in which they ordered.
After a week in their care, the couple decided to do the right thing and have this cub surrendered to a more appropriate caregiver. While it is legal to own a Savannah in France, it is most certainly not legal to own a Sumatran tiger, an endangered species of tiger which is native to Indonesia. By doing the right thing, a two-year investigation ensued to bring to justice those responsible.
The only positive to this catastrophe is that nine people have since been arrested “on animal trafficking charges in connection to the selling of the critically endangered exotic animal” People.com reports. The couple were two of the nine people arrested in connection with this big cat mixup, but they were later released by police. UPI.com confirms that the tiger is safe and presently in the care of the French Biodiversity Office.