Serval

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Serval

ServalOriginal.png

Extra ServalOriginal.png

Character Data
Also known as: Serval Cat
Japanese Name: サーバル
Romanised Name: Sābaru
First Featured in: Kemono Friends (2015 Game)
Serval's Merchandise
Animal Data
Scientific Name: Leptailurus serval
Distribution: Central & South Africa
Diet: Carnivore
Average Lifespan in the Wild: 12-20 Years
Read More: Serval
Conservation Status: Status iucn3.1 LC.svg.png
Serval Anime Season 2 Manga Festival​ (Costume)​ Pavilion​ (Gen 2)​ KF3 Kingdom Nexon Game Stage Play Gallery

Serval is a Friend that has appeared in most Kemono Friends media to date, and is the mascot of the franchise.

Appearance

Serval's trademark features are two long, black-tipped ears at the crown of her head, an M-shaped marking found beneath aforementioned ears, and a small bow-tie with a spotted pattern on orange that fades into white; this pattern comprises the majority of her attire. The centerpiece of her outfit consists of a white blouse, devoid of pattern, and an orange skirt with black dots on it, 4 rivets on each side of the skirt connected with ropes. She has long orange socks with black dots fading to white with no dots and white shoes with brown bows on them, white long gloves with dotted orange top pieces.

Her EX design first debuted in Guidebook 3 and was unofficially referred to as Extra Serval before being revealed to be an EX proper at Kemono Friends World in 2019. It has overall darker coloration in the spots and stripes, which cover more of the orange areas of her clothing; they now extend to the edges of her skirt and further down the stockings. The bowties on her shoes are larger and darker, and the stocking pattern itself is less uniform. Her upper half is also noticeably different in several ways. The stray ends of her bowtie are far longer, with stripes instead of spots; her hair is shorter, reaching about earlobe-level, but with much longer side-bangs that frame her face; the M-shape on her forehead is replaced with an arch-shape; and perhaps most notably, her ears bow out to the sides instead of sticking straight up, revealing a black-and-white- pattern on the back side.

In Real Life

A Serval seen in the northern Serengeti in Tanzania

The Serval (Leptailurus serval) is a small-sized species of cat native to most of sub-Saharan Africa.

The Serval was first described and given it’s scientific name by the German naturalist J.C.D. von Schreber in 1776.[1] There are three recognized subspecies, L. s. constantina in western and central Africa, L. s. lipostictus in eastern Africa, and L. s. serval in southern Africa.[2]

From as far west as Senegal, as far east as Ethiopia, and as far south as South Africa, servals are native to much of sub-Saharan Africa, but are not found in the rainforests or the Saharan desert. There have been some recorded sightings of Servals in Morocco.[2] Within these regions, they can be found in grass savannas, riverine forests, open woodlands, montane forests, at the edges of bamboo forests, in mangrove areas, and subalpine moorlands. These cats require habitats with lots of cover for hiding and a water source.[3]

Servals are thin cats with small heads and large, rounded ears. The body of a mature individual is 32 to 40 inches long and their tails are 8 to 12 inches long. When standing normally they are 20 inches tall and weigh around 33 pounds.[4] Newborn Servals are grayer then adults.[5]

The size of a Serval compared to that of a human.

Servals specialize in hunting small animals such as rodents and birds found in the savanna. The large size and shape of a Serval's ear allows them to detect faint sounds made by prey, including underground prey, and discern their location. The majority of a Serval's diet consists of grass rats, mole rats, and other rodents, but Servals are also known to eat insects, snakes, frogs, fish, small and medium sized birds, and vulnerable juvenile antelopes.[5] Servals in Zamibia were found to consume a significant amount of ticks in one study.[6]

Serval activity varies from individual to individual, with some exhibiting nocturnal behavior, and others more crepuscular.[7] Servals are solitary and territorial. Individuals, male or female, may have home ranges that cross over, but they will usually avoid each other. Both male and female Servals mark their territory by spraying urine and rubbing their faces against the grass.[5]

Gestation lasts 68 to 74 days and litters of 2 to 4 kittens are often born.[4]

The IUCN classified the Serval as Least Concern in their 2014 Red List assessment of the species with a stable population trend. Their justification describes the Serval as "relatively abundant and widespread." One of the biggest threats to the Serval is habitat loss. Wetlands are an important part of a Serval's home range because of the abundance of rodents to pray upon. The grasslands Servals often roam are also under threat from over-grazing livestock. [2]

Servals are sometimes illegally hunted by humans. Some hunters kill Servals to protect their livestock and others have killed them for practical use and trade. Some tribes use Serval skins in their traditional attire and Serval body parts such as bones are used in traditional medicine.[8]

Mammal Friends
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  1. ITIS - Report: Leptailurus serval, Integrated Taxonomic Information System, Accessed on 29 May 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Thiel, C. 2019. Leptailurus serval (amended version of 2015 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T11638A156536762. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T11638A156536762.en. Accessed on 12 June 2022.
  3. Geertsema, A. A. (1984). Aspects of the Ecology of the Serval Leptailurus Serval in the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Netherlands Journal of Zoology, 35(4), 527–610. doi:10.1163/002829685x00217. Accessed on 17 June 2022.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica "Serval." Encyclopædia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/animal/serval, Accessed on 12 June 2022.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Estes, R. D. (2004). "Serval Felis serval". The Behavior Guide to African Mammals: Including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores, Primates (Forth ed.). Berkeley, US: University of California Press. pp. 361–363. ISBN 978-0-520-08085-0. Accessed on 10 July 2022.
  6. Thiel, C. (2011). Ecology and population status of the Serval Leptailurus serval (Schreber, 1776) in Zambia (Doctoral dissertation, Universitäts-und Landesbibliothek Bonn). Accessed on 10 July 2022.
  7. Ramesh, T., Kalle, R., Downs, C., Spatiotemporal variation in resource selection of servals: insights from a landscape under heavy land-use transformation, Journal of Mammalogy, Volume 97, Issue 2, 23 March 2016, Pages 554–567, https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyv201. Accessed on 4 September 2022.
  8. Manqele, N., Selier, J., Hill, T., Downs, C., Drivers of the illegal hunting of serval (Leptailurus serval) and oribi (Ourebia ourebi) in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, South Africa, African Journal of Wildlife Research, Volume 48, Issue 2, October 2018, Pages 1–18, https://doi.org/10.3957/056.048.023004. Accessed on 4 September 2022.