Amara, our Serval


Amara joined the ZWF family when she was a cub. She has become everybody’s favorite. She loves playing and terrorizing the fish in our lazy river!

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The Serval is a medium-sized species of cat that is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, mainly in covered areas that are close to water. Thought to be most closely related to the African Golden Cat and the Caracal, the Serval is one of the most distinctive felines on the African continent with it’s spotted fur and long limbs giving it the appearance of a small Cheetah.

Servals have excellent smell, sight and hearing which helps them to detect prey both in the long grass and even underground, with their large and rounded ears being able to rotate independently to pinpoint small animals close-by.

Although the Serval is not considered to be at any great risk in the wild, they are being subjected to increasing levels of the loss of their wetland habitats which has led to population declines in certain areas along with having been extensively hunted for their fur.


Historically, the Serval would have once been found throughout Africa but is today mainly confined to areas south of the Sahara.

Although there are a few small populations in the north, they are thought to number around 250 mature individuals and are considered to be locally critically endangered.

The Serval has a relatively wide range throughout central and southern parts of Africa where it is most commonly found in reed beds and rushes that fringe wetlands and in grass lands that have a good source of water. Although wetlands are preferred, Servals are fairly adaptable animals and can be found in a range of other habitats within their home range too including forest, bamboo thickets, marshes and along streams providing that there is a good supply of food and plenty of water.