Felis serval

This beautiful, nocturnal spotted cat is found in tall, dense grassland near water and reed-beds, typically in the wetter northern and eastern parts.  It reminds of a small cheetah with short tail and big, rounded ears.  Might take the occasional poultry, but poses no threat to livestock.

CITES Appendix II.  Red Data Book: Rare.


When calling predators at night in habitat as above, extra care should be taken with identification before shooting.  The bright eyes of a serval can easily be confused with that of fox, jackal or caracal.  Its response to rabbit distress cries is very similar to that of jackal.

Did you know?

In typical catlike fashion, servals attach with high arching pounce.  Half of these are successful.
Serval will readily enter water in pursuit of prey.
They can snatch low flying birds from flight!