Rare serval cats re-introduced into the wild at iSimangaliso

2012-10-24 00:00

ISIMANGALISO Wetland Park Authority has introduced two rare serval cats into the Eastern Shores section of the park, complementing the small resident population.

Fewer than a dozen of these elusive creatures are currently thought to be found in the 2,3 million hectare iSimangaliso Park, which offers the ideal habitat and wildscape.

The adult female and young male were confiscated from a farmer in Vryheid who alleged that he found them in snares on his farm. They were recovered by an Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife district conservation officer and taken to the Emdoneni Animal Care and Rehabilitation Centre near Hluhluwe, which has been in operation for 18 years.

Servals are listed as one of the “threatened or protected species” (TOPS) due to their rarity. They are vulnerable to being snared and killed by farmers, particularly for their beautiful pelts.

The two new additions 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.

“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” said Louis and Cecillie Nel, owners of Emdoneni.

iSimangaliso CEO Andrew Zaloumis said: “No matter how often it occurs, a re-introduction event of an endangered species in crisis into a secure area such as iSimangaliso is extremely gratifying, and an achievement we should all be proud of.

“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.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.