French couple pay over $10,000 for kitten which turned out to be baby tiger

bayb tiger cub
After a few days with the cub the unlucky French couple became suspicious. Photo credit: Getty.

If you're considering buying a loved one a kitten for Christmas, we would highly recommend rescuing one from the RSPCA, or at the very least doing your research first. 

Hopefully then you won't end up in the same debacle as one French couple who paid 6000 euros (NZ$10666) for a kitten that was later revealed to be a Sumatran tiger cub.

According to French media outlet France Bleu, the Normandy couple told police they came across an online ad for a Savannah cat, which is a cross between an exotic African serval and a domesticated feline. 

After a few days, the suspicious couple called the authorities and it was discovered their new pet was in fact a three-month-old baby tiger. 

While a Savannah cat is reportedly legal to keep as a pet in France, tigers are not and are protected by the CITES treaty, meaning they cannot even be transported without the proper paperwork. 

According to 7 News, the baby tiger had previously been in a rap video before being purchased by the couple. 

Native to Indonesia, there are less than 400 Sumatran tigers left on Earth.

"In Indonesia, anyone caught hunting tigers could face jail time and steep fines," the World Wildlife Fund told the New York Post.

"But despite increased efforts in tiger conservation - including strengthening law enforcement and antipoaching capacity - a substantial market remains in Sumatra and other parts of Asia for tiger parts and products."

The tiger appeared to be in good health and has been turned over to the French Biodiversity Office, local media outlets reported.

Nine people have since been arrested in relation to the tiger sale.