True Wild Life | Serval | The serval is a medium-sized cat that is found in parts of central and southern Africa. The average serval tends to be around 80cm in length but it is not uncommon for some adult servals to grow to over a meter in length. The serval has a spotted pelt like a cheetah and the serval also benefits from having astonishingly good fan-like ears which enables it to hear enemies and prey. The satellite dish ears also allow the serval to sense vibrations.
The serval has been extensively hunted across Africa for its fur meaning that some serval populations have become extinct. Today the serval is rarely found north of the African Sahara Desert and the serval is extinct from the southern Cape of Africa but the serval is still common is western and eastern parts of central Africa.
The serval hunts hares, birds, reptiles, frogs, fish and larger species of insects but the serval has also been known to hunt larger animals such as antelope, although this is uncommon for a servals normal diet. The serval eats fast to avoid losing its meal to larger predators. Servals have incredible leaping ability and can grab birds out of the air.
There are thought to be around 10 different subspecies of serval still found in the African wild, with there also having been sightings of albino (white) and melanistic (black) servals. Of the two, blacks are more common. The serval is thought to be most closely related to the caracal and the African Golden Cat that are found in similar territories in Africa to the serval.
The gestation period for a serval is a little less than 3 months after which time, 2 or 3 serval kittens are born although servals have been known to have as many as 5 kittens in one litter. The tiny serval kittens are born blind and their eyes are usually fully in open within 2 weeks. The serval kittens remain with their mother until they are about a year old and are big enough and strong enough to look after themselves in the African wild.