The serval is one of seven species of small to medium-sized African cats. It has a slender build with long legs. Its back legs are longer than its front legs. It has a small head, large erect rounded ears and a long neck.
Its coat is yellowish tan with black spots, bands and stripes. The tails has black rings and its underside is white or light tan. The pattern of every serval’s coat is different.
Servals are found in many parts of Africa, but not in the equatorial jungles or the Sahara. It is most commonly found in East African savannas, usually near water. They prefer areas of scrub bush, tall grass and dry reed beds that are near streams. They will not be found hunting in an open dry savanna where there is inadequate cover. They have also adapted to higher altitudes in Kenya. Black servals can be found in Kenya’s high country provided there is a source of water near by.
It has an excellent sense of hearing and can locate prey that is moving underground. Once it hears its prey, the serval will quietly approach and then leaping, will pounce on it. Often, they will play with their meal before consuming it.
This cat has a number of different vocalizations which include snarling, growling, spitting, purring and a high pitched cry used to call other servals.
They are successful hunters and eat a wide variety of prey, which includes rodents, small ungulates, An animal with hooves. The ungulates are divided into two classes the even-toed ungulates such as the deer, giraffes and antelopes; and the odd-toed ungulates such as horses, zebras and rhinoceroses. birds, lizards, frogs and insects. Their success rate is high at about 50% (lions are about 30% successful). They are also well known in East Africa for raiding farmer’s poultry. They require a fresh kill and will eat carrion Dead and decaying flesh. only under extreme circumstances.