On our recent trip to South Africa, we saw all of the big cats – lions, cheetahs and leopards. But it was the serval that really captivated me, not least because never expected to see one. It’s long, slender legs allow it to leap metres into the air, and sometimes catch flying birds. It can just as easily direct the pounce downwards to snag rodents that it detects with those large ears. Which is exactly what the one we saw did.

It took a couple of minutes to finish its meal and lick itself clean, and then it was off stalking again.

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