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.


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.

                                                                     Predators and Threats

The spotted coat of the serval is sometimes marketed as “young leopard” or cheetah, and therefore attracts a hearty price on the black market. This, as well as the serval’s proclivity for poultry raids, makes it a target for hunters. Consequently, servals are no longer found in heavily populated areas.

                                                             Ref:  African Wildlife Foundation