Serval ~

Servals are mid-sized cats from the savannahs and a variety of other habitats of sub-Saharan Africa. The serval is the only cat that is both striped and spotted. Servals have the largest ears and longest legs in proportion to body size of all cat species. The serval’s large ears enable it to very effectively hunt and kill small prey items including small rodents, birds, and reptiles. The long legs enable the serval to see above tall grasses and enable the serval to jump nearly 7 feet into the air to catch birds mid-flight.

Servals are solitary in the wild and are still considered common in their range. Populations have begun to decline however due to conversion of savannahs and wetland regions to agricultural operations and due to increased hunting pressure for their fur.

We take care of a young female serval at the zoo named Malika. We feed Malika a special meat-based zoo carnivore diet as well as knucklebones weekly for dental health. Malika enjoys new logs for sharpening her claws, a wide variety of boomer balls and toys, catnip and coffee scents, hide tubes, boxes, and lots of attention! If you’d like to meet Malika and learn more about serval’s, you can schedule an animal encounter.

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