Servals (scientific name: Leptailurus serval) are primarily solitary, living most of their lives alone. They can be extremely aggressive if provoked and will often use their fast paw strike to attack. They will also hiss, growl, and even bark when they are angry. Servals have large ears that allow them to hear mice underground.
- Yellow fur with dark spots
- Black tipped tail
- White spots on the backs of their ears – a trait that all spotted wild cats have, which helps them communicate with their young
Servals live in the savanna of Africa, among the tall grasses, always near a source of water. There have been a few melanistic (all black) servals seen in mountain areas or higher elevations.
Servals are a keystone species because they help keep the rodent populations in check.
- Habitat Loss
Servals are losing a lot of their habitat to farming and urbanization.
- Fur Trade
Servals are killed for their pelt (skin and fur) and it is sold as cheetah pelt.
- Retaliatory Killings
Farmers will kill servals if they think they have taken their livestock.