Status: Least Concern
Range & Habitat
Servals are found throughout the savannahs of Africa, almost always near water. They are not found in arid desert regions, tropical rainforests, or along the western tip of South Africa.
Reproduction & Growth
Little is known about the mating behavior of servals. During estrous, the male and the female will hunt and rest together for a period of several days. Gestation lasts between 65-75 days, and the female usually gives birth to about three young.
In the Wild: Their diet varies seasonally and they typically eat whatever live prey they can catch. Their diet includes small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, but also includes berries and grasses. In the Zoo: Their diet consists of dry dog food, beef, chicken, fish, mice, and/or turkey plus fruits and vegetables. They receive this diet twice daily.
Servals are solitary animals that mainly communicate through urine spraying and the spreading of saliva. They also communicate through vocalizations such as shrill cries, growls and purring. Servals catch their prey by leaping and landing on their victims with both front paws. They also have the ability to reach into deep holes or enter the water to catch prey. Once caught, they usually play with their prey before it is consumed. The are extremely successful hunters due to their ability to jump ten feet straight up and switch directions at very high speeds.