Paula Gilhooley…Serval in Kruger National Park

fullsizeoutput_10c1One of the most elusive elegant long legged cats in Kruger National Park is the Serval.  They have largely disappeared from their original fairly wide home range in southern Africa.  They are now considered rare which is why after many trips to South Africa,

IMG_07906 in all, staying over 360 some days and more than 200 trips into Kruger I have seen this beautiful cat only twice and both during my current trip.

Unfortunately  neither sightings were long enough to take a photo so I am relying on other photographer’s photos who were more fortunate than I was.  I am just thankful that I was able to finally see one of these wonderful cats.IMG_4558

The serval has a short tail, long legs, large ears and very attractive markings. ere lissome variation in background coloring and individual markings but the distinctive pattern type of these is unmistakable.  These cats are dependent on water and upon adequate shelter in tall grasses, dense undergrowth or reed beds.

Servals are generally solitary but sometimes can be seen in pairs or small family groups. Old Burrows, thickets and rock crevices are used as lairs.  They are nocturnal hunters but sometimes active shortly after sunrise and just at dusk.  They vocalist with sharp high-pitched repeated cry to contact their mate.  They snarl and spit when angry and purr contentedly like domestic cats.  One to four kittens are produced in a litter.

Their prey includes small mammals, mice, birds, reptiles, fish new grasses and fruit.



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