Scientific name:

Leptailurus Serval

 

What makes it special:

The serval cat shows sexual dimorphism with males being larger and heavier than their female counterpart. Though it has a slender body, it is a very strong cat. The serval has a relatively small head in proportion to its overall body features and size.

 

Recommended caliber:

We recommend using a 270 caliber rifle. 30_06 caliber is also sufficient. Expanding bullet ammunition is suggested.

Hunting the Serval Cat – For the more experienced hunter

The uniqueness of the serval cat is in the different patterns seen in its fur, with alternating spots and stripes giving it a very unique appearance. It has long toes that are almost immobile; this adaptive feature is very useful when hunting, in which it has a firm grip on its prey. The serval cat also has a highly developed sense of hearing, a fact attributed to its large ears thus enabling it to hear prey from a long distance.

Hunting method

Hunting of any cat is usually a challenge for both starters and experienced hunters. As the serval cat has a well camouflaging fur coat, alertness during hunts is important. The spot and stalk is a difficult method, but it is the only means of hunting a serval cat. Hunting requires stealth and hunters sometimes need to lie on the ground while approaching the cat.

 

Once the hunter is close enough, he/she needs to get a clear shot, a shot aimed perfectly at the chest area just above the fore limbs guarantees a shot to the heart. It is required to act quickly, making sure not to startle the cat. It has the ability to jump up to three meters high and 3.6 meters horizontally, it is well to remember that it can disappear very quickly. In a matter of seconds the serval cat can run up to a speed of 80km/hr.

 

As a highly intelligent animal, the serval cat can play games with the hunter, leaping and busting in and out of bushes, coming back to taunt the hunter; this is an opportunity for the hunter to take charge.

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Know the animal

Appearance

At birth, the young offspring has a grayish wholly appearance that lightens into a light brown appearance with time. In adulthood the serval cat takes on alternating spotting’s and a striped appearance. The serval cat has long strong legs; however it has a small head and a short tail. The ears of the serval cat are oval, sharp pointed with a short distance between each other. These ears are large and black on the outer backside, while the inner ear part takes on a light brown appearance. Though having an alternating spotted and stripped body, the stripes are mainly concentrated on the upper part of the head with of about two to four stripes that expand to the upper part of its back. The underbelly, neck region and hooves have a brown appearance. 

 

Habitat

The serval cat lives in savanna grassland and savanna woodland areas. As it requires watercourses in its habitat, it avoids semi desert and arid places. The serval cat also avoids dense forest areas but can sometimes be found in forest fringes.

Diet

The serval cat is mostly carnivorous, which includes birds, hares, fish, frogs and hyraxes.  A big part of its diet is large amounts of water, it drinks between two to three liters a day. 

 

Predators
being in the cat family, the serval have very few predators, however hyenas can eat them and leopards hunt them down for fun.

 

Life cycle

The gestation period of females range between 66 to 77 days, resulting in 2 to 4 cubs. Weaning occurs around the age of one mouth and at the age of six months they can hunt on their own. After a year, the cub leaves its mother. Females reach sexual maturity around 15 months of age, while males take up to 24 months. The lifespan of a serval cat averages at 10 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.

 

Behavior

The serval cat has a tendency of gobbling down whole preys in its mouth, eating very fast. During hunts, it takes breaks, or pauses for up to fifteen minutes; utilizing the silence to listen after prey, until it knows precisely where to strike. Though they are nocturnal animals, the serval cat can also venture during the day. As with many animals, it marks its territory with urine. To scare away any oncoming predators and competitors, it uses visual means by nodding vigorously and arching its back while jumping. If fights are unavoidable, it will use its fore legs during fights while barking and purring. Unlike many other animals both males and females are involved in protecting the territory.

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Animal Facts

Weight

Male: 9 to 18 kilograms

Female: 7 to 10 kilograms

 

Height

Male: 66 centimeters

Female: 54 centimeters

 

Habitat

Savanna grassland and savanna woodland areas, they are also rarely seen in forest fringes

 

Diet

Birds, hares, fish, frogs and hyraxes

 

Predators

Leopards and hyenas

 

Life cycle

Lifespan:around 10 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity

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