Our population of servals is currently classified as stable in South Africa even though the opinion of many experts is that populations have dropped and should be seen as and fundable species. This elusive tall cat has often been compared and confused with another African cat called the Caracal. Caracals are widely found in south African and are despised by most livestock farmers as they have been know to catch both small lambs as well as large adult sheep and goats.
With more thorough research it was proven that servals rarely hunt domestic livestock as they are too large and a Serval’s jaws are not strong enough. They prefer hunting insects, birds, rodents and even venomous snakes. This very agile cat with its tall legs have become masters at hunting snakes by delivering quick and multiple blows to the snake’s body. Injuring and disorientating its pray.
Tall legs also come in handy when catching birds, Serval can from standing jump between 2 and 3 meters straight up into the air to catch birds out of flight. They also hunt strategically by sitting in shallow water and waiting for water birds to some down and land, then from the shallow waters 3 meters up into the air and they can catch their prey.
Serval are amazing rodent control as 1 serval in a years’ time will catch an average of 1,000 rodents.
They are the cat with the largest ears in comparison to its body and is the tallest cat (in the world) should you compare the length of the leg to the size of the cat. Unfortunately, these cats are often confused with caracals and shot by farmers trying to protect their livestock. However, Servals do not hunt large species of Lamb, and buck as their jaws are not strong enough.
Servals prefer to hunt smaller pray such as mice, birds, rabbits and snakes. They can jump from a standing position of 2-3 metres high which gives them an advantage of catching birds!
The Serval population is currently classified as least concern and therefore stable. Nevertheless, we will dedicate ourselves to Serval conservation, in addition to Cheetah, Caracal, Hyena and Lions.
Diesel the Serval
My name is Diesel, and I was born on March 11th, 2012, at the Daniell Cheetah Project. I am also the son of Gypsy and Walker.
During the day I am one of the most friendly servals at this facility and I love cuddles and attention! However, one could say that I am slightly protective over my food, I do love my food, and nobody is allowed to come near it!
Petrol the Serval
My name is Petrol, and I arrived at DCP at only 2 weeks old. I was born at another awareness project but unfortunately I was rejected by my mom. A very kind man then decided to take me in, and raised me as his own. I am now seen as a very handsome male at 14 years old!
I have lots of character and love to make my opinion known. All men should steer clear of me as I will mark all of my territory, and should the men be standing too close they might also get scent marked.
Ubuntu and Upendu the Servals
Sisters Ubuntu & Upendu were born on the 17th of December 2012 at the DCP from mom, Gypsy, and dad, Walker.
The girls will stay in the project but go into an alliance between DCP and Symba Wildlife Conservation.
The girls are the first ambassadors to the SCEAP. They will be given over 850m² to themselves, without having to share with a “boyfriend” because that is NOT how it is done in nature. They will have a designated mate who will live next door and be admitted access ONLY when our girls are ready and willing. Their mate will be sponsored by the Daniell Cheetah Project. These two females will be part of SWC’s small cat breeding program which will lead to a trading program and potentially a reintroduction program for this amazing species.
The Three Musketeers - Katja, Kattie and Percy
Gypsy the Serval
My name is Gypsy, and I am now 16 years old. I was one of the first servals to arrive at DCP, with my husband, Walker. Both of us were raised by our mothers, so we have always been a little bit on the wilder side.
Walker and I parented most of the servals here at DCP, and we lived happily together. However, a few years ago, Walker had passed away due to old age.
So I am now happily living out my retirement years next door to my daughters, and calling away during feeding time.
Juliet the Serval
My name is Juliet, and I am a 3-year-old female. I was born here at DCP by Gypsy and Walker, with my brother, Alpha.
I also have a son, Ford, who I mothered with my boyfriend, Petrol. I raised Ford completely by myself, and he now lives next door to me where I can watch him all the time!
Alpha the Serval
My name is Alpha, and I am a 3-year-old male. I was born here at DCP by Gypsy and Walker, with my sister, Juliet.
I am a very shy serval, and I prefer living closer to the bottom where I can have my space. Even though I was hand-raised, I do not like people touching me or looking at me for too long. But I do love to chase mice and any rodents that may wander into my enclosure!
Ford the Serval
My name is Ford, and I am 1 year old. I was born at DCP by my mom and dad, Petrol and Juliet.
I was raised by my mother, so I do not like people as much as the other servals here. I now live next door to my mother, where she can keep a close eye on me.
Because I was raised by my mother, the kind people that look after me are hoping that I can be reintroduced into to the wild and live an even happier life one day!