A Striking Photo of a Very Rare Black Serval Cat

While shooting from the Asilia Namiri Plains Camp in Tanzania, British wildlife photographer George Turner captured a striking photo of an incredibly rare serval who was completely covered in black fur. According to Turner’s guide, the serval was given the name of “Manja”.

The serval is a small wild cat native to Africa and are normally spotted in color, but melanism does occur. These cats are very secretive and solitary, so capturing a shot of one, with or without melanism, out in the open is an extreme rarity.

The black serval. Can’t describe how mind-blowing this was… and still is.? For context, even seeing a “normal” serval is tough. They’re shy, secretive cats that tend to live in tall grasses — the perfect combination for staying unnoticed. Every time I’ve been privileged enough to see them, my heart skips a beat. ?…Nobody *really* knows why melanism occurs in servals. Some think the increased altitude (and forested habitat that comes with it) reduces exposure to daylight, encouraging melanism.

via Neatorama