Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Farewell to Franklin's Best-Loved Wildcat

Farewell to Franklin's Best-Loved Wildcat

Sam the
serval
Click to enlarge

Sam's long ears are highly tuned to the sound of small rodents scurrying about in the grass. He often listens for prey with his eyes shut, giving the impression he's sleeping!
Sam the
serval
Click to enlarge

Sam was much loved by the thousands of children and adults who watched his hunting demonstrations and he'll be sorely missed.
Sam the
serval
Click to enlarge

Sam the serval's hunting skills were top notch. He was capable of leaping 3m high to capture his food.


News Release
For Immediate Release
14 March, 2008
Photograph available

Farewell to Franklin's Best-Loved Wildcat

Franklin Zoo farewelled one of its most famous residents this week when Sam the Serval died at the age of 20 years. Zoo director Helen Schofield says Sam's passing is a real loss to the zoo.

"He was a fantastic ambassador for his species and for conservation as a whole," she says.

"Servals are listed in CITES Appendix 2, indicating that it is "not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled'."

Serval numbers in the wild were threatened as they were once hunted to service the fur trade but as people have become more educated about the impact fashion furs had on animal species, the numbers have started to recover.

"We're not out of the woods yet," says Schofield. "But with the educational focus of zoos influencing the way people think about conservation and the changing buyer behaviour of consumers, we are making inroads."

Thousands of children and adults have enjoyed watching Sam demonstrate his amazing hunting skills during Franklin Zoo's daily Wild Encounters.

"Servals are so well adapted for their environment. They have long legs, the longest of all cats, relative to body size so they can see over the top of the long grass on the African savanna, and huge ears so they can hear rodents and small animals rustling around in the grass, pinpoint them and pounce with a distinctive vertical 'hop' after listening to them with their eyes shut... ."

Schofield says she'd jokingly respond to visitors remarks about Sam snoozing away his morning by pointing out he was actually hunting.

Sam's jumping and hunting demonstrations will be sorely missed by zoo staff and visitors.

"Over the past two years he's been on a special diet and taking green lipped muscle extract so he was in great shape for his age. He had no trouble leaping up into the trees in his enclosure to 'catch' a chicken or piece of meat to show off his hunting prowess."

Unfortunately age got the better of Sam, but Schofield says he's left behind a legacy of youngsters and their parents who now have a much better understanding of conservation.

"He's had a good eight more years than he would have in the wild. We all loved him and we'll miss him hugely."

ENDS

About Franklin Zoo:
Franklin Zoo is home to more than 100 wild animals and birds, including five lions, a multitude of monkeys, and a zebra. It is situated in the Bombay Hills, 5km from the turnoff along Ridge Road. It runs a successful Junior Zoo Keeper programme each holidays and also has an education programme in line with school curriculums well utilised by schools.
Visit www.franklinzoo.co.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election