Open every day of the year
Summer Hours (March 1 – October 31)
Admissions Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Grounds close at 6 p.m.
Ages 12-64: $17
Ages 65+: $14
Ages 3-11: $12
2 and Under: Free
2016 Free Days: 11/4, 11/7, 11/17
Scrub brush, tall grass, dry reed beds and marshlands close to a water source. Not found on open dry savannas, tropical rainforests, or the western tip of South Africa.
What Does It Eat?
In the wild: Small rodents, hares, ground birds, reptiles, fish, frogs, and insects
At the zoo: Nebraska brand feline diet and chicks
What Eats It?
Leopards, wild dogs, hyenas, and humans prey on the serval.
Servals are solitary cats except for mating pairs or females with kittens. They are crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk) and nocturnal. Their primary forms of communication are through urine spraying and by rubbing saliva on objects.
Servals are sexually mature between 18-24 months of age. Mating is non-seasonal. The female builds a den in tall, thick grass or shrubbery and gives birth to a litter of one to five kittens after a gestation of about 73- 75 days. The kittens open their eyes at nine to 12 days and begin to take solid food around three weeks of age. They are independent between six and eight months and are forced out of the mother’s territory by the time they reach sexual maturity. Servals can live 15 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.
High Jumping and Speed Racing
Servals have long necks to help them search for prey animals in tall grass. Their long muscular legs allow them to leap nearly 10 feet in the air to strike prey with their front paws. They can leap 13 feet horizontally to pounce on prey. They are the second fastest cat and can run up to 45 mph for short distances.
Their large round ears help them hear extremely well to locate prey. Their ears are mobile and can be moved 180 degrees. They can hear high frequency sounds such as those made by rodents tunneling underground enabling servals to locate prey they cannot see.
Can You See Me Now?
Most cats have a background fur color that is similar to the color of their primary habitat. The spots and stripes on the serval’s tawny fur helps them blend into their surroundings and conceals them from prey animals as they move through the tall grass on the savannas of Africa. There are a few melanistic (black) servals that have adapted to higher altitudes in Kenya.
IUCN Status: Least Concern.
Servals are a threatened species due to habitat loss and illegal poaching for their beautiful fur. The annual burning of grassland areas is also a threat for servals and they are sometimes captured for the pet trade. Leopards, wild dogs and hyenas also prey on servals.