Male White Serval
4/22/99 – 2/15/2021
Pharaoh the 21 year old white serval crossed over the Rainbow Bridge today as Jamie Veronica kissed his sleeping face. He was euthanized after the last round of drugs and supportive care proved incapable of turning back the hands of time. Dr. Liz Wynn came to help make the transition peaceful from his home cat-a-tat to those great hunting grounds in the sky.
Pharaoh’s coat is snow white and his spots are a silvery gray, just like his brother Tonga, although he has two unusual dark yellow spots and one black spot on his shoulder and his hind leg. There was a time when we believed that breeding exotic cats would save them from extinction and while that may be true we later concluded that it was not our right to impose captivity upon another creature to ensure that it would be here for the benefit of man. We ceased intentional breeding of all of our cats in 1997 and have long since managed to spay, neuter or separate all of our animals to prevent any accidental births.
Pharaoh was born at Big Cat Rescue before we knew any better back in the 1990s and his parents are Nairobi and Frosty. When we first began we only had the guidance of those who bred and sold cats and believed that what they said was true. We started breeding some cats under the misguided notion that this was a way to “preserve the species.” We had not then figured out what seems so obvious to us today, that breeding for life in a cage an animal that was meant to roam free was inherently cruel. Pharaoh’s parents Frosty and Nairobi, have since been neutered and spayed. We didn’t know it at the time, but they must have been closely related.
Pharaoh is very timid and only likes a select few people. He is however always curious of passerby’s. In order to gain Pharaoh’s trust of a greater number of keepers, he participates in the operant conditioning program. He is doing very well in the program and quickly learned to keep a lookout for trainers as they head out in the morning. If he is passed by he will call out in his loud serval cry as if to say, “What about me?”. Pharaoh always puts a smile on keeper’s faces with his silly antics. He will burst through the high grasses of his enclosure to surprise keepers cleaning his Cat.a.tat and then quickly hop back into the grass before tearing around the corner and leaping on top of his cave den. Pharaoh also loves water and will spend hours swatting at a stream of water shot out of the hose.
Because white-footed servals and white servals are rare, people will pay to see them, so breeders will inbreed to get the defective genes that produce the unnatural coat color. They cannot survive in the wild because they could not hide from predators and cannot sneak up on prey even if they did manage to survive to adulthood. They do not live where it snows. There are only a handful of white-footed servals in the world and only two white servals that are known to exist. These are not albinos as they have pale blue to green eyes and some golden patches. They are born and mature approximately 20% larger than the normal colored servals. For the first year, their health is much more delicate and we have never known of white serval females to survive more than two weeks. We will not sell (although we’ve been offered $75,000.00 each) nor allow others to breed to our white servals because we do not want them to be exploited and the only way we can control that is to control their offspring. The demand for white tigers causes many of the normal colored cubs, born to these litters, to be destroyed. We will not be a part of anything that could cause the same to happen to golden-colored servals. We do not breed cats, nor sell cats at Big Cat Rescue.
Sponsor Pharaoh https://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/products/serval-sponsorship
See More About Pharaoh:
Pharaoh the white serval LOVES enrichment. Check out some of his greatest moments. BigCatTV.com
A water moccasin threatens Gale and Pharaoh the white serval in this Wildcat Walkabout Video on May 1, 2014 – https://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-may-2-2014/
See a video of Pharaoh shredding toilet paper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=agVnhrFD3ww
Most of our servals were rescued from people who got them as pets and were not prepared for the fact that male or female, altered or not, they all spray buckets of urine when they become adults. Some were being sold at auction where taxidermists would buy them and club them to death in the parking lot, but a few were born here in the early days when we were ignorant of the truth and were being told by the breeders and dealers that these cats should be bred for “conservation.” Once we learned that there are NO captive breeding programs that actually contribute to conservation in the wild we began neutering and spaying our cats in the mid-1990s. Knowing what we do about the intelligence and magnificence of these creatures we do not believe that exotic cats should be bred for lives in cages. Read more about our Evolution of Thought HERE
2016 July Pharaoh Stars in Pool Party
July 2019 Pharaoh Serval LOVES his Tiki Hut
Jamie and Victor made Pharaoh a special Tiki Hut and LOVES it!!
Medical Update October 7, 2019
Pharaoh, who turned 20 back in April, has been acting pukey, not eating well, and has been shakey so he was seen by Dr. Justin today.
GOOD NEWS!! We are all breathing a sigh of relief!! Pharaoh Serval seems to have just been constipated. Pushed out some hard poo and he’ll go on lactulose going forward. THANK YOU, EVERYONE, for making our on-site hospital possible. It really makes a difference when the cats, like Pharaoh, need quick medical help!!
THANK YOU for loving these cats and helping us care for them. Being able to keep the medications the cats need for hospital visits as well as their daily medications for arthritis, pain, digestive issues, high blood pressure, constipation, etc is MADE POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF YOU!!
Photos from the exam can be found in the Facebook album below.