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SERVAL

{ leptailurus serval }
Servals have the longest legs of any cat relative to their body size.

PROFILE

Simba is the definition of all bark and no bite, so you might see him hiss but it’s all show. Simba enjoys his toys and his favorite part is chewing off their feet, no one knows why but we keep supplying him with feet to nibble on. He came to us from a private donator from Buckhead, Georgia. It is possible to own a cross-breed of a serval cat and domestic cat, which is called a Savannah cat, as a pet (with the proper permits). Simba was kept as a pet but is not a Savannah cat like the owner thought he was.

OVERVIEW

Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary Least threatened
CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

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AVERAGE SIZE

Compared to a 6′ Man

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AVERAGE WEIGHT

Females: 20 – 40 lbs
Males: 20 – 40 lbs

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AVERAGE LIFESPAN

22 Years

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DIET

Carnivore

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REGIONS

Africa

Servals live near thickly planted streams and rivers in the savannas of central and southern Africa.

APPEARANCE

Of medium size, long and slim, the serval has the longest legs and largest ears of any cat. They also have very long necks. All of these physical traits aid them in hunting and surviving. Their coat is golden-yellow to buff in color with both black lines and spots. Their belly is a soft white. They have a short black-tipped tail.

CHARACTERISTICS

One of the most successful feline hunters, uses the “wait and see,” strategy. The serval uses it’s ultrasonic hearing to locate rodents in tunnels or underbrush. When it’s time, the serval takes a giant leap up into the air and then forces its bodyweight down upon the victim, trapping it beneath the front paws until the cat can deliver a deadly bite to the neck. This method is efficient and quick.

The serval has a varied diet, eating birds, reptiles, frogs, crabs, and large insects. Standing on its hind legs, a serval can jump more than 9 feet (2.7 meters) straight up to grab a bird right out of the air! But small rodents are its most frequent prey item, and a serval doesn’t hesitate to reach a long leg down into a rodent’s burrow to snatch a meal out of the tunnel! The cat’s long, curved claws can also hook fish and frogs right out of the water. Servals are one of the few felines that actually like to be in the water.

When ready to breed, a female will let the males know with a specific call. Mothers raise kittens, typically three at a time, completely on her own. Males are nudged out of the group as soon as they are capable of hunting on their own while females may stay with their mothers for up to two years.

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