Cat, Serval

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Physical Characteristics

Servals are strong, slender mid-sized felines with pale yellow coats with black spots. They have the longest legs of any cat in the world, relative to their body size. Females weigh between 15 to 26 lbs.; males between 20 to 40 lbs.

Habitat & Diet

Servals are spread throughout Africa, preferring to live in grasslands with access to fresh water. They do not live in dense forests, but are known to live around the edges of them. They are nocturnal hunters and prey primarily on small rodents, but will eat most any small animal it finds and is able to catch.

Social Behavior

Like most felids, servals are solitary hunters. They will travel up to 2.5 miles in a single night in search of food. They will mark territory with urine to ward off competing servals. A mother will on average give birth to two kittens at a time, but litters of five are not uncommon. They mature to independence between six to eight months, though some stay within their birth range for some time.

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Fascinating Facts

    • Servals are so agile they have the ability to leap vertically 12 feet in the air and grab birds right out of the air!
    • They are highly proficient hunters and have a 50% success rate when hunting!

Status In The Wild

Though they are not threatened, constant encroachment on their environment and humans hunting them for their pelts has the population in decline. They have become extinct in their former range of South Africa, and if not for reintroduction efforts in Algiers, would be almost wiped out in East Africa. They have become popular as pets, but are still wild animals and should not be considered for private ownership by the average person.

Waystation Residents

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