Two rare serval were recently introduced into the Eastern Shores section of iSimangaliso, adding to the small population of about a dozen already found there. These elusive and beautiful animals roam wild in the 230 000ha iSimangaliso habitat.
Listed as one of the “Threatened or Protected Species” (TOPS) they are sought after for their beautiful pelts, and fall victim to poachers and farmers snares.
We are delighted to play our part in supporting an organisation like Emdoneni Animal Care and Rehabilitation Centre in ensuring the conservation and protection of this rare and beautiful species. The Eastern Shores of iSimangaliso’s Lake St Lucia provides them with a wild, secure home away from inhabited areas and the threat of snaring – Andrew Zaloumis, iSimangaliso CEO.
The two new additions, which are still wild and not habituated to humans, were set free in the wide open grassland area where there is suitable habitat and plenty of prey. Servals eat mainly rodents, fish, birds, insects and small reptiles which are found in abundance in our natural wetland areas. Visitors on night drives will be lucky to spot them along with other predator species that include hyaena, jackal, leopard and genet.
It is fantastic to be releasing the serval cats into the pristine wilderness of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park where they are now free to wander in the wilderness without having to worry about any human pressure and can enjoy an abundance of delicacies of a well-balanced ecosystem. We hope we will see more of these threatened cat species being released in iSimangaliso in the future – Louis and Cecillie Nel, owners of Emdoneni.
Zaloumis goes on to say:
The introduction of serval is part of iSimangaliso’s integrated conservation strategy with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to re-establish viable populations of the full range of game that originally lived in this part of southern Africa more than 75 years ago and in some cases became locally extinct. Other rare and valuable game already brought back includes elephant, black and white rhino, wild dog, tsessebe, oribi, cheetah and buffalo
Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre welcomes visitors to experience their environmental education projects and offers informative twice-daily tours and feeding during the afternoon. Wild Cheetah, Serval cats, African Wildcats and Caracal (lynx) which have been orphaned or injured are cared for and rehabilitated for release back into their natural habitat where possible.
For more information visit www.emdonenilodge.com.
Article Source: iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority