As an intern at CPT we are required to do weekly papers on a topic of our choosing that relates to cats in some way. This week I have prepared a paper on the serval, a small African cat. Sorry... no pictures yet. There is a serval at CPT called Elvis that I plan on photographing tomorrow, so I promise to post them soon. Servals are super fly. They have big ears (like me) and long legs (unlike me) and can jump crazy lengths both vertically and horizontally. I can't wait to write more about the individual servals at CPT.
Servals may be related to the cheetah. They have a jumping technique to kill prey- they dive bomb from above to stun or kill their small prey (usually birds, rodents, lizards, etc). They are considered one of the most efficient hunters, as they have a fifty percent kill rate, which is much higher than the success of 1 in 20 hunts of other cats. They have been reported to run up to 50mph!
Apparently they are also kept as pets, and I would like to take a moment to tell you: this is stupid. Very stupid. Servals, just like all other exotic cats, are not domesticated. "Tameness" does not equal domestication and the natural wildness of an animal is a bad thing to have in a house with a forty-five pound cat with sharp claws and crazy reflexes. Their are many breeders throughout the United States alone that sell full serval kittens in addition to the hybrid breed "savanna." The savannas are a cross with a serval and a domestic cat and are considered "domesticated.' A lot of the servals at CPT are former housepets, but not one of these cats are truly friendly. They would bite the hands that feed them- I would know. The requirements of range and nutrition alone are not sustainable by humans when kept as pets, and the risk of injury by these cats will result in a euthanized or abandoned/injured animal. Elvis, one of the CPT servals, was dropped of at the CPT gate as a surrendered housepet (CPT is not a drop-off facility, but donors were able to provide enough for CPT to care for Elvis throughout the rest of his life). Owning exotic pets is not illegal in the state of North Carolina, but it should be and hopefully the bill will pass soon.
Todd is the coolest serval! He can catch any chunk of meat you toss at him.
In researching for my paper, I also discovered several figures pertaining to the disgusting human desire to wear animal pelts. Did you know it takes thirteen adult servals to make one fur coat? Or how about the tiger fur trade? According to Wikipedia, the tiger was voted the World's Favorite Animal in a poll by Animal Planet. All the cats: tigers; servals; jaguars; leopards; ocelots; cheetahs; and countless others are killed every day so people can wear their fur. And these are just the feline species
One question: What is up with that?
I absolutely love fashion... you should see my closet. I have a bit of a problem. But, I have a bigger problem with those that take, or support the taking of a life for fashion. I might take yours if you wrecked my closet, but then you'd be asking for it.
I suppose the moral of the paper is: Servals rock. The exotic pet trade and fur trade- not.