Slightly smaller spots.

17 05 2011

Night time in African bush holds many secrets, and staying out a little after dark can produce some interesting results. I have been spending some extra time out in the bush after dark, hoping for just the luck I have had.
A number of serval cats have been kind enough to pop into my spotlight recently, and even more surprisingly, stayed long enough to be photographed. I am based in an area known for its big cats, in particular the leopard, which usually means you can expect to find very few servals. Leopards are the biggest concern in a serval’s world, as they are known to kill them frequently. Somehow, this population of servals has managed to gain a strong foothold in the area, and have recently been seen with some regularity.
The massive ears of the serval often give it away before you see the spots. They use their larger than normal ears to pin point the exact hide out their mousy prey is in. Then, they set themselves for their highlight; a speedy and precise leap, which lands them directly on top of the mouse. The kill is quick and quiet, keeping the fuss to a minimum.
They are also tall cats, standing about twice the height of an average house cat, which gives them the vantage point over the rodents to try picking their way carefully through the long grass, without giving away their position.
It is difficult, however, to get a real understanding of the individuals, because the grass is still quite high – even though we are heading into winter, late rains have kept the bush thicker than usual – so getting a good look is restricted. Amazingly, through the grass and the excitement, I have been able to get some images.




One response

29 10 2011
You little beauty « Kurt Jay Bertels' Blog

[…] finding servals is not easy, (see Slightly smaller spots.), but finding them in the day, is a near impossibility! This little lady, however, is going against […]

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