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SUSANNAH THE SERVAL


Susannah the serval will leave her mom in a week. At the age of two, she will move away from home and start living on her own. Her brother, Samuel, moved out when he was only six months old! Girls get to stay with their moms longer than the boys in the serval world.

Susannah and her mom begin the day by hunting. Her mom has been trying to teach her to prepare her to live on their own. They catch a few fish in the water. Susannah is still hungry, so they search for some rodents, which aren't too hard to find in the grasslands.

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Susannah is a playful but shy cat. She decides to spend her afternoon hopping around the field and chasing after insects. She eats a few of them for a snack. Susannah is so distracted chasing the insects that she almost doesn't hear the laugh of a hyena in the distance. She does hear it, though, and she does what her mom always taught her to do in the face of danger - climb a tree.

Susannah climbs higher and higher until she is finally safe. She sits up in the tree and watches the hyena run away. She's relieved. As she catches her breath, she stares out across Ethiopia and thinks about how lucky she is to live in such a grassy, warm place.


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When Susannah grows up, she meets a boy serval named Steven. They are both pretty shy and like to be alone, so they don't hang out too much. Still, Susannah decides she wants to have cubs someday soon. She lets out a cry to tell Steven that she wants to start hanging out some more. Not long after Susannah has some cubs of her own. Steven leaves her to take care of the kids, and Susannah teaches them the skills her mom taught her when she was little.




TRUTH OR MYTH?



1. The nickname of the serval is the "giraffe cat."
True!

2. Servals have short legs.
Myth! Servals have really long legs in comparison to the rest of their bodies.

3. Servals make lots of different noises, like hisses, purrs, and growls, depending on what they want to say.
True!

4. "Serval" is Portuguese for "wolf-deer."
True!





FUN FACTS



The serval has the longest legs relative to its body out of all wild cat species.

Servals also have very large ears, which indicates that they have an acute sense of hearing.

Servals are crepuscular, which means they hunt at night to avoid the sun.

The serval is similar to the caracal.