Bongo the serval at Big Cat Rescue


hear big catsBongo

Male Serval
DOB 3/1/91 – 3/4/16
Arrived at Big Cat Rescue  4/4/95
Bongo came to Big Cat Rescue from an auction on 4/4/95.

He had been raised as a house pet, but his owner could no longer afford to feed and care for him.

She warned us that he doesn’t like people in dark pants or uniforms.

He has the most beautiful, big brown eyes ever to grace a Serval face.

He gets very aggressive over food, but is otherwise gentle.

He is also a favorite of one of the Senior Keepers and will turn into a chirping little kitten vying for her attention whenever she is around.

Bongo’s 25th Birthday!

It’s the grrrreatest kind at Big Cat Rescue today as it marks Bongo’s 25th Birthday.  I think this may qualify him for the Guinness Book of World Records for serval longevity.

Bongo’s Second Dental


3/4/16 Bongo Serval passed away today. He was 25 years old when most servals only live to be 10-12. Dr Justin is doing a necropsy on him to see if there is anything we can learn from his passing. He found a mass in the pancreas but suspects a heart issue as well. Bongo had a nice day today. He wouldn’t eat, but we took him outside to lay in the grass once more and feel the warm sun on his back. He seemed to enjoy his last hours as much as you can when you are confined to a cage.

Dr J found fluid in the chest indicating heart failure. He also found a cyst in the kidney. He’ll be sending out tissues for testing.

Tributes to Bongo Serval

Unknown Mar 5, 2016
I miss you, Bongo. We will all miss your physical presence, especially Diablo. Who could resist such a gorgeous boy with the warmest brown eyes in the world. You were so special with the sweetest, most distinctive face of all the servals…eternal love to you, sweet boy.

Sharon Henry Mar 5, 2016
My sweet Bongo-Mon. You were such a special little boy and you will be missed tremendously. Run free sweet boy.

Becky Gagliardo Mar 5, 2016
Love of my life, I will miss you so much. I got to spend 17 years with you and you were the greatest joy to me and everyone else. You are and always will be the best serval in the world. I can still hear you calling to me in my heart and will love you forever. Be free my love, I will see you again. I will take care of Diablo for you.

Becky Gagliardo
Now all of the ongo cats are together again. Mongo, Bongo, Kongo and Cheyenne

Bonnie Farago Mar 5, 2016
Oh Bongo….I could hear you calling from so far away. Now your calls will live on in my heart, but the silence will fill me with sadness. I will miss the joy you brought me. I hope in heaven you get all the freedom you deserved. Serval row won’t be the same without you!

Marie Schoubert Mar 5, 2016
Bongo, you were and will always be one of a kind! We will all miss you but not as much as Diablo! Go free now and never forget us down here ?

Regina Rinaldi Mar 5, 2016
Oh Bongo, your mamma Becky is gonna miss you so much. So will i. One of the sweetest servant we’ve ever had at BCR. When you heard a servant meow, it was most likely Bongo. Sleep well Bong. No more pain. Forever in our hearts. Love you.

Regina Rinaldi
Auto correct ugh. Serval not servant.

Sharon Dower Mar 4, 2016
Sweetest, most Beautiful boy! I will miss your calling for breakfast and how happy you always were when anyone came by your enclosure. You will be missed by ALL of us here at BCR. Be at peace.


Bongo Hears a Lion Roar






February 15, 2016 – Bongo is sedated for treatment.

January 31, 2016 – Bongo was mentioned on this interesting page.

December 19, 2012 – Bongo is mentioned on this page

April 2012 – Bongo made the monthly Advocat newsletter.

November 12, 2011 – This walkabout page highlights a photo of Bongo POUTING.  Too Cute.

October 2011 – Bongo the serval loves special treats and when he refused them one night his keepers became worried.  His behavior had also taken a sudden shift.  Big Cat Rescuers made an appointment for him to visit the vet for an exam.  Wild cats have a natural instinct to hide their injuries or illnesses so they give very few clues as to when they are not feeling well. Bongo was taken to the vet where he was examined, had xrays taken and blood drawn. Bongo looked great for a 20-year-old cat! His coat was full and sleek, his teeth were in perfect condition, his initial blood work indicated his kidney values were within range and his x-rays showed only mild arthritis.  Internal parasites were found in his fecal results for which he was prescribed medication and then he was sent home.

All of the cats at the sanctuary are treated monthly as well as quarterly with specific de-wormers to combat internal parasites, however every now and again some of the cats catch a meal of their own that is not on the Big Cat Rescue menu. We have seen heavy rains during the last few months after which the lizards and frogs thrive.  Bongo being the cat that he is must have eaten one of these slimy visitors that visited his enclosure. While Bongo was at the vet, volunteers and interns took the opportunity to do some landscaping in his enclosure.  They trimmed up the palmetto bushes, gathered up sticks and raked the leaves.  Bongo has completed his course of medication and is doing just fine now, loving his special treats and all.

September 29, 2011 – Bongo went to the vet.

April 2011 – Bongo made The Big Cat Times newspaper

Want to know more about African Servals? Go to our species info page to fins some fun serval facts.

Want to see other cats the call Big Cat Rescue home? This page lists all of the cats by name and species.

Find ways that YOU can get involved saving big cats, and small ones, too.

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  1. Frosty's sounds reminded me of how my Seal Point Siamese Cat did when she really wanted attention. She would let the volume get louder if you did not give it to her. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge after age 13, years ago. BCR thank you for sharing.

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