English: Serval
Afrikaans: Tierboskat
Scientific: Leptailurus serval

A medium sized cat like animal with long legs. Generally golden-brown on top, fading to white under the body. Behind the ears are black and white markings. The tail is very long.

Found in the north and east of South Africa, but historically could also be found along the southern coast. Prefers areas with tall grass, reeds or other lush vegetation. Usually near water or at the edge of forests.

Unique Features
  • Spots
    • Dots that can smear to form oval shapes or even long lines.
    • Long black line along the back of the neck and shoulder blades.
  • Tail
    • Black rings.
    • Rather short.
  • Ears:
    • Very large.
  • Other
    • Faint tear marks from the inner eyes to the mouth.
Compared To Similar Species
  • Cheetah
    • Cheetah's spots are dots without any lines.
    • Cheetah has very clear tear marks on the face, compared to the faint marks on the Serval.
    • Cheetah has longer tail.
    • Cheetah has smaller ears.
    • Cheetah's tail ends in black and white rings.
  • Leopard
    • Leopard's spots form rosettes.
    • Leopard has smaller ears.
    • Leopard has longer tail.
    • Leopard's tail is white underneath.
    • Leopard has shorter legs.
    • Leopard doesn't have any tear marks.