This is a very rare photograph of a black serval. This particular cat looks young to me (subadult). When I first saw the photograph I thought, “what is that?” A strange looking cat. The serval is a bit strange anatomically; very long legs compared to body (the longest of all cats), small head, short tail, and radar dish ears.
Black (also called “melanistic’) servals occur quite frequently in the highlands of Kenya and Ethiopia but photos of them are rare! In a survey in the area of the Aberdare Mountains of Kenya, 21 different servals were identified. Eight of them were completely black while five were black but less so.
Most black servals in Kenya are seen at 2,440 to 2,745 meters above sea level.
This is where the Aberdare Mountains are:
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