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Serval Kittens On Display

Thursday, February 18, 2010 4:23pm

Born to mum Kali and dad Marji on Boxing Day, the boy and two girls are the first Servals to be born at Adelaide Zoo.

Already showing off their wildcat nature, the young siblings are flashing their kitten-teeth and being pro-active in attaining nourishment.

From this week the public may be lucky enough to catch glimpses of the trio as they explore their newly ‘kitten-proofed’ exhibit.

Three-year-old Kali, who came from Wellington Zoo one year ago, is doing a fantastic job with her first litter of kittens, says carnivore keeper Arliah Hayward.

“She is really protective of the kittens, and she is doing really well with suckling and cleaning them and moving them.”

Seven-year-old Marji, who came from Melbourne Zoo in 2004, is also very inquisitive about his cubs.
“He calls to them… and they run over to have a look at Dad,” Arliah says.

Last week the kittens cleared their six-week vet check where they were weighed, vaccinated and micro-chipped for identification.

While Serval kittens can look similar to baby leopards, they quickly grow to develop their own distinct physical characteristics.

Adult Servals have a small head in relation to the body, and tall, oval ears set close together. They also have the longest legs of all cats (relative to body size). These help to perform a precise vertical hop, and a horizontal leap which can reach more than 6 metres from a stationary position.

Servals possess remarkable problem-solving ability, and are highly intelligent and mischievous creatures.

Native to the savannahs of Africa, Servals are protected in many countries as their numbers have dwindled due to habitat destruction and fur hunting


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