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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Serval

Afrikaans name: Tierboskat

Close-up portrait of a Serval

Serval portrait

Photo © Steven Herbert

Leptailurus serval

Interesting facts about Servals

Servals are a medium-sized cat. They grow to a height of around 60 cm at the shoulder. Adult females can reach a weight of 12 kg and males 18 kg. Compared to the other species of cat they have the longest legs in relation to their body size

The Serval may be found in a wide variety of habitats but favours Savanna. They are not seen very often. Although Servals are primarily nocturnal they do also hunt during the day at times. They catch mice, birds, reptiles and other small prey items. Guinea Fowl are about the biggest item that they catch.

Females give birth to 1 to 3 kittens during summer. The kittens stay with their mother for a year. Servals live to an age of about 10 years in the wild.

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References and further reading

African Wildlife - A photographic safari - Author: Nigel and Wendy Dennis - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 66

Africa's Big Cats and Other Carnivores - Author: Nigel Dennis - Year Published: 2001 - Page: 62

An Introduction to the Larger Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Joanna Dalton - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 126

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 35

Chris and Tilde Stuart's Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 154

Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Year Published: 1997 - Page: 282

Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Year Published: 2001 - Page: 154

Field Guide to the Mammals of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar et al. - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 95

Kruger National Park Questions and Answers - Author: P.F. Fourie - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 259

Land Mammals of Southern Africa - A field guide - Author: Reay HN Smithers - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 105

Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Burger Cillier - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 55

Mammals of the Kruger and other National Parks - Author: The National Parks Board - Year Published: 1980 - Page: 26

Questions and Answers - Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Year Published: 1990 - Page: 15

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 417

Signs of the Wild - 3rd Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 111

Signs of the Wild - 5th Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Year Published: 1996 - Page: 106

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 210

List of South African Mammals

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