A French family has finally received official permission to keep a young fox they rescued after its mother was crushed by a car, after a marathon 3-year legal battle.
The story of the little fox, named Zouzou, made headlines in France and even prompted a support page on Facebook after the Delanes family was ordered to hand over the animal and pay a 300-euro ($409) fine in 2011.
In France--as in many countries--raising a wild animal without special authorization is against the law.
When the French National Office of Hunting and Wild Animals found out about Zouzou, it began legal proceedings against his keepers back in 2011.
Anne-Paul Delanes and her husband Didier paid the fine and then kept Zouzou hidden for fear the authorities might confiscate their pet.
Today Anne-Paul Delanes told AFP the family had just "received a special authorization permitting us to keep Zouzou until his death," from the local prefecture in France's southwestern Dordogne region.
"He is more affectionate than a dog," Anne-Paul Delanes told AFP. "When he sees us, he rolls on the ground and yelps with joy."
Didier Delanes found the cub in 2010 along the side of the road lying under his dead mother, who had been run over by a car. He took the fox pup home and the family raised him as a pet.
Zouzou will be four years old in March.