Serval Facts

Serval Facts
Serval is medium-sized cat which lives in the Central and South Africa. It prefers wetlands and grasslands, but since it is highly adaptable, it can be found in other types of ecosystems. Although servals are eliminated from certain parts of Africa due to hunting and habitat loss, they are not considered endangered animals because their number in the wild is still high and they form stable population. Some people keep servals as pets, even though they are wild animals and may hurt them.
Interesting Serval Facts:
Serval has yellowish to orange-coated fur covered in black spots. Body coloration makes them invisible (well camouflaged) when they are hiding in the grass. There are no two servals with the same marks on their fur.
Servals are 2 to 3 ¼ feet long. Their weight ranges from 20-40 pounds. Serval's tail is quite short and covered in black rings. It has a black tip.
Serval has the biggest ears (compared to the rest of the body) and longest legs in the world of cats.
Serval's ears serve as radars which easily recognize sound produced by moving animal (even when they are moving in the underground tunnels). Along with other senses, ears help them find the prey quickly.
Depending on the type of prey which they hunt, servals can hunt both during the day and night. If they are living close to the humans, they sometimes hunt domestic animals, like chickens.
Servals use sharp claws to catch different types of prey: rodents, squirrels, fish, frogs, snakes, small birds…
Servals are very successful hunters - they catch 50% of their prey. Other cat species have only 10% success rate (catch only one animal in 10 attempts). They can even catch flying birds.
Servals have excellent sense of smell, hearing and sight, which they use both for finding the prey and for avoiding predators.
Main predators of servals are humans (who hunt them for fur), leopards, hyenas and dogs.
Due to long legs, servals are fast runners; they achieve 45-50 miles per hour. Only cheetahs are faster than servals.
Servals are solitary animals, which gather only during mating season. They use urine and scratching of the trees to mark their territory which is usually 12-20 square kilometers large.
Like most other cat species, servals produce wide range of sounds: high-pitched cry, snarl, growl, spit and purr, which are used for communication.
Servals do not have specific time for mating, but it usually happens during spring when females start looking for males. After successful mating and 73 days long pregnancy, female creates safe den and gives birth of one to three cubs.
Cubs are blind at birth and have only 250 grams. They will open their eyes and double their size in two weeks. Young servals drink milk during first five months of their life. After that period, they will accompany their mother in hunt, until they become one year old and capable for solitary life and independent hunt.
Servals live 10-12 years in the wild, and 13 years in captivity. Oldest known serval lived 23 years.

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