Serval is a very successful feline and hunter. His beautiful fur and wonderful predatory abilities allow him to stand out among other large predators of the African night. Constantly requiring water for its survival, it lives in grasslands and open plains with patches of water, avoiding deserts and arid areas. Extinct from North Africa due to human interference, they are now seen in sub-Saharan Africa.
Serval fur is generally reddish with black spots, sometimes merging with stripes. Melanism is occasionally seen, along with white servals, although the latter is only found in captivity. The Serval’s distinctive features are its long legs (longer in proportion to body size than any other cat) and long ears (giving it hearing ability unmatched in the cat family) that make the Serval a master hunter. . Despite being a medium sized cat, weighing thirty to forty pounds, around four feet including the tail, Serval is often capable of taking down larger prey.
Due to its highly specialized physique, Serval are among the best hunters in Africa, with an astonishing 50% success rate in hunting. He takes a wide variety of prey, including rodents, birds, fish, hares, insects, and frogs. The usual approach is to silently stalk prey at night, locating it by echo with its sharp ears, and then making a final vertical jump on the animal. Serval also specializes in catching birds in the air by jumping high from the ground and making a clapping motion with its legs to catch the surprised bird out of nowhere. Serval sometimes even shoot down deer, although the main prey animals are still small mammals.
Servals are solitary cats and gather during mating. Pregnancy lasts about two and a half to three months, after which one to five are born, usually two cubs. The mother hides the young in burrows and bushes until they become independent at seven months and reach maturity at two years of age. In captivity, Servals live up to nineteen years.