The bizarre story emerged over the weekend after the tiger was found at the side of the road in a suburb of the French capital, apparently abandoned after his owner panicked when police started trying to track down the cub.
Officers first came across the male tiger several weeks ago when they saw a photo of it in the mobile phone of a man they had arrested on suspicion of selling drugs. He told them that the tiger’s owner, an alleged cannabis dealer who lived in a housing estate next to the Paris flea market in the suburb of Saint-Ouen, would let clients take a selfie with the cub for five euros ($5.61US), Europe 1 radio reported. Owning wild animals like a tiger is illegal in France.
Fortunately, the tiger cub is in good health and was taken to an animal charity, Tonga Terre d’Accueil in the Loire region, which looks after abandoned large cats and primates. “He’s not in too bad a state, but perhaps a bit skinny,” said charity head Pierre Thivillon, who said he was placed in an enclosure next to a cage where a tigress lives. “If they get on we will put them together,” he said. “He’s very sweet, completely at ease with humans. He will have to get used to being with other tigers.”