Angry serval

Angry serval - Big Cat photos
Physical Characteristics:
Servals are characterized by tawny, black-spotted coats and a long neck and legs to see over savanna grasses. They have large ears and an acute sense of hearing.

Servals are common on the savannas where there is plenty of water. They seem to prefer areas of bush, tall grass and dry reed beds near streams, but are found in high-altitude moorlands and bamboo thickets. Black servals occur in Kenya's high country.

The serval is mainly nocturnal, and in the daytime it can be difficult to see in tall grasses. When hunting, the serval listens for movement, head raised above the grass. It is even able to locate prey moving underground. Once a sound is located, it stealthily approaches, then leaps and pounces. It often plays with its catch before eating it.

Servals lead solitary lives and come together in pairs only for a few days when the female is in heat. Serval kittens, born in litters of two to four, are difficult to observe as the mother hides them well and frequently changes the hiding place. Because the female raises the litter alone, she has to hunt frequently to feed them.

When the young are large enough to hunt, the mother drives the males out. Young females remain somewhat longer, but when they become sexually mature they too leave to establish their own territories.

Servals eat a great variety of prey including rodents, birds, reptiles, frogs and insects. They catch much of their prey by leaping high into the air and pouncing but have also been seen reaching into burrows with their long forelimbs, or hooking fish out of water. They are quite successful hunters and seldom eat carrion.
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