HomeUnbelievableManja : the black member of serval family.

Manja : the black member of serval family.

Servals are a wild species of cats with a cheetah-like coat and black spots, brands and stripes scattered across it. Just like domestic cat breed, servals too can be born with dark black fur due to melanism. However, they are considered a rare sight.

Credit: Marc Mol

Some sightings of black servals from Kenya and Tanzania suggests that there indeed are a healthy population of them roaming the earth. Servals are timid, elusive creatures who does not prefer spotlight. Therefore, an encounter with an ordinary-colored serval, let alone a black one, is extremely rare.

Credit: Marc Mol

When a guide and naturalist of Asilia Africa first spotted a black serval, it made news around the world. This serval was named “Manja”

He was spotted in Namri Plains, a territory ruled by lions and Cheetahs. Manja’s uncommon preference to live among the great mammals shows his bravery, courage, and ability to stand his ground.

Photo credit: George Turner / @georgetheexplorer

The photographer who spotted Manja mentioned in his blog site that prior to this miraculous encounter there had only been 4 reported sightings of other of Manja’s kind in East Africa.

He further declared that in order to capture this little hunting cat engaging in its diurnal courses, he had to spend three weeks in wilderness.

Credit: Kabel Morgan

Manja was again sighted in 2019 by a photographer George Benjamin who later remarked it was a mind-blowing incident.

In July 2020 Manja was reported to have secured a mate.

On the August of 2021, black serval kittens were spotted by two other photographers; Will and Keko.

The black serval kitten playing with its ‘normal’ sibling
Credit: Will Burrard-Lucas

They went back to the area for another few days and were lucky enough to spot a normal female serval with a black serval kitten.

Manja and his partner have had a melanistic kitten together!


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