Adelaide Zoo has welcomed a serval kitten to their family. Born on April 12 the kitten is the second litter for mu, Kali and dad, Maji.
Carnivore keeper, Arliah Hayward said, “She [Kali] has excellent instincts as a mum. She is very protective over him and is doing a great job feeding and cleaning him.”
Currently the kitten is tucked away in a private den where mum can tend to his every need. He weighs 1.3kg.
“As Kali does such a good job, we really leave all the mothering up to her, and apply a hands-off approach to rearing him. We have video cameras set up in their den which shows both mum and son bonding by snuggling up close at night and often playing chasey around their home,” added Hayward.
Yesterday the kitten received a full body examination from the vets and he received his nine week vaccinations. Afterwards he was able to go back to his normal mischief.
Hayward said, “Other than being extremely cute and a very good looking little Serval, our young male is also showing off some of his wildcat behaviours like flashing his kitten-teeth and exploring his new habitat.”
To mimic a wild serval’s life the new kitten will not be introduced to his dad as Hayward explained, “In the wild, Serval males do not play a role in caring for their kittens, so Maji is housed separately to mum and bub. He does however seem to be quite inquisitive about his kitten and spends time watching him through the mesh with the little one running over to say hi occasionally.”
On the savannahs of Africa this species is in decline due to habitat destruction and hunting for their fur. It is unfortunate as they are incredibly intelligent and brilliant at solving problems.
Relative to body size this species has the longest legs of any cat. These are useful when they perform a vertical leap of up to 6m which helps them to catch birds.
Photo Credit: Adelaide Zoo/ David Mattner