Kim Diment > Stepping Out
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Stepping Out

The young Serval depicted in this painting was an orphan named Tabasco. She was at the Lewa Conservancy in Kenya. Strangely enough its companion was a young female Black Rhino (also an orphan). I had in the past seen adult Servals from afar. This was truly a unique experience to be so close to one. They are beautiful cats that appear to have a graceful yet stilt-like gait. Adult Servals are superb hunters. Their methods for hunting rodents and reptiles start at their incredibly perceptive dish shaped ears. Prey is detected by hearing with such precision that the Serval is successful with 45%of its pounces. The Serval pounces somewhat like our fox in that they zone in on the prey and then do a leap into the air. Once airborne, the Servals front feet come down first, squarely onto the body of the most unfortunate creature. Because Servals have long stilt like legs, this procedure is more easily executed in the long savannah grasses where they like to hunt. These long front legs also make it easy for Servals to flush out seed eating birds and then snag them mid air. Servals are usually found quite close to a consistent water source. Unlike many cats, they don't seem to mind water. - Kim Diment


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