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Digital Subscriptions > Travel Africa > January-March 2020 (89) > A LUCKY BLACK CAT


Spotting the shy serval on a safari is rare enough. Seeing a melanistic example is rarer still. But to come across a black cat in the Namiri Plains of the eastern Serengeti is unheard of. Until now.

Melanism is the increased development of the dark-coloured pigment melanin in skin/hair, caused by a recessive gene. Though it is reasonably common among wild cats – it has been reported in around a third of the 40 known species, including leopards – the trait is relatively rare in servals.

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