It was late in the evening in our camp in Selenkei when we decided to respond to a Lion Guardian report. Several exciting things happened within a short span of time. First we found a herd of about 30 elephants which in itself is something unusual. The elephants were clearly uneasy with us being near, probably as a result of the on-going human-wildlife conflict in Amboseli. After inspecting the elephants at close range for any injuries, we left satisfied that they were all okay.
Then within a short distance, a lone hare persisted to stay on the road in front of our vehicle, thus in our way. Darkness was approaching and we slowed down for it to move on. Then like a flash, an African wildcat darted into our path, struck the hare with its paw and delivers a death bite, all in less than 3 seconds. We could not believe it and were excited that it all took place in front of our vehicle. We continued on our way. As we reached the edge of Amboseli National Park in open grassland, we found a completely black animal that I have never seen before. The altitude was 1245 meters above sea level. It had a small head with large ears and long legs relative to its body size. Can any of our readers identify this creature?
could that be a melanistic serval??
It looks like a black serval to me?! 🙂 Very beautiful anyway!
It looks to me very much like a melanistic serval cat, although usually cases of melanism tend to occur at altitudes far greater than that of Amboseli / Selenkay e.g the Aberdare Mountains in Central Kenya where “black” servals are relatively common, as are melanistic genet cats, and the occasional melanistic leopard.
I agree with anntte, it really looks like a melanistic serval
I think it looks like a serval . Like you have black panthers this is a black Serval .
Hooow Yes ! A melanistic serval ! my dream ! Usually found at higher altitudes (Aberdares, Mount Kenya…) but hard to spot. bravo !
A melanistic serval – how wonderful! What a rare and amazing sighting 🙂
Black serval, lovely!
I have to agree with the others that it must be a melanistic serval. Look at the earas, shape of the head and the body. It certainly look like a serval.
The sighting is just so cool.
Yes, it’s a melanistic serval ( wikipedia) . A beautiful animal, indeed! Never seen it when coming to Kenya, even when climbing mount Kenya many years ago.
Well done – you guys got it off the bat! It is indeed a melanistic Serval. We were very surprised to see it at such a low altitude.