Monday, July 18, 2011

Two serval cats in one day

One thing I was hoping to see in Tanzania was small cats, as I hadn't seen a civet, a serval, a genet, an African wild cat, etc. on previous trips  Although I love cheetah and leopards and lions, I was hoping for a new cat species...and I got lucky. 

We saw two different serval cats in Norongoro crater.  Even though they are usually seen at night, we got to see them in full daylight.  Here is a photo of each.  I loved the sightings - especially the first one.  We found a young male serval on the road marking territory and then hunting.  His jumps were very cool to watch - graceful and very high!  The first serval we found in the morning and the second was across the crater in the afternoon.  I don't know the gender of the second cat, which was moving rather quickly so I am glad I got a photo!!

The spots and markings on these cats are so gorgeous.  They have bright white stripes across the back of the ears, long tails, and slender, spotted bodies.  I may never have the chance to see a serval again, but I hope I do.  It was a very cool experience and the first new species I saw of the trip.

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