At Home With Nature~admin
Nairobi National Park is one closest to my home.
Sometimes i don’t even have to visit the animals
residing in the park;they stray and visit my residence
mostly at night wreaking havoc in the garden and
worrying my livestock(me included!).
But i won’t miss an opportunity to visit the park
whenever I’ve some coins in my pocket to spare(which
is very rare nowdays).
When i was a young boy, i saw a” fake” leopard known
as “KIRUUMI” in Kikuyu and i have always wanted to
know more about this fake leopard which rarely attacks
humans. I later came to learn that it is known as serval
cat,a very beautiful cat!
Last weekend,i set out to see and learn more about it at
Nairobi National Park. i was not disappointed!
When driving in the Nairobi National Park,
always be prepared for those ‘suddenly’
moments when you see something rare or
special. It is good to drive with your camera
on and ready. If you have binoculars, keep it
close to you as well. Driving slowly is
obviously necessary for good sightings.
Well, one ‘suddenly’ moment happened
recently when I saw some movement in the
long grass. As I stopped and looked, a
beautiful serval cat emerged and continued
to hunt insects and small lizards, birds and
rodents. It would listen with its radar-like
ears, stalk and pounce at its prey. After a
short while, the cat turned and walked across the
road in front of me.
The serval cat (Leptailurus serval) is a medium-sized
African wild cat. DNA studies have shown that the
serval is closely related to the African golden cat and
the caracal. Servals have the longest legs among all
cat species. The size of the legs is due to the greatly
elongated metatarsal bones in the feet. The toes are
also elongated, and unusually mobile, helping the
animal to capture partially-concealed prey. Another
distinctive feature of the serval is its large ears and
auditory bullae in the skull, indicating a particularly
sharp sense of hearing.
Seeing a serval cat anywhere is very special and the
Nairobi National Park is a good place to find them.
They are not common and due to their body marks,
some people could mistake them for a little cheetah.
They also have a shy, reserved nature and as a result
their habits are often sneaky and secretive.
So next time you are thinking about what to do with
recreational time, why not come to the Nairobi
National Park, relax and enjoy taking in the ‘soul
tonic’ of God’s creation.
The park is open daily from 6am to 7pm.
For more information on the park, you can link
to the following websites http://www.kws.org or
http://www.nairobigreenline.org or on facebook .