Couple who tried to buy a Savannah cat in France, instead were giving a Sumatran tiger cub

Savannah cats are a cross between a domestic cat and a serval. 

On the left is a savannah cat, on the right is a serval cat.

A serval cat is a cat species, that stands a bit taller than a normal domestic cat. They live in the savannas of the world and hunt mostly by leaping high in the air and coming down on the back of the animal they are trying to catch. There are also relatively efficient at catching birds that fly over them,and indeed if you see a serval in a zoo it is not unusual the same pile of feathers somewhere in their enclosure,

Savannah cats are a relatively recent cross-breed. They are given a code depending on how much of their genes are serval. While several cats are not actually endangered in the wild, if Savannah cats became too popular this might change quite quickly.

They exhibit some more dog like behaviors, many can be put on a lead and taken for a walk.

A Sumatran Tiger cub however is quite different. Apart from anything Sumatran tigers are critically endangered with less than 400 roaming the remaining forests of their home. Apart from poaching, and attempts to catch young for the pet trade (it will often lead to the death of the mother), they are also heavily threatened by the fact that their rain forest home is being cut down.

Stupidly much of their home is being cut down for palm oil growth, and while some of this is used in food products,it has been sold as a way to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. The problem being, that in order to undo the carbon emissions from cutting down the forest in the first place, in areas are likely to take more than a century of use for palm oil.

Given the urgency of cutting are carbon emissions now,far from helping in the fight to halt climate change this behaviour will make it worse.

Quite rightly keeping Sumatran tigers as a pet is illegal in most countries. It is also highly unwise, unfortunately as it is also highly popular in certain places, partly given the size the Sumatran tiger is the least unwise tiger to try to keep in captivity. However if this trend of keeping tigers in captivity-most captive tigers are held in the USA, they could be pushed to extinction within the next short few decades.

The trend for Savannah cats is not much better. While Serval cats are not under great pressure in the wild, this could change fast, and while a cross between a serval and domestic cat will lead to a more placid animal, it is still likely to behave in a far wilder way than a domestic cat. Furthermore, if Savannah cats became popular we could see heavy pressure put on the wild Serval across its range.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See Animals Wild