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Meet Mtoro

June 10, 2010

Have you had the chance to meet Mtoro, our African Serval? He has a very interesting history. Typically, African Servals are found in Africa. However, Mtoro was found wondering into a restaurant in Smithfield, VA. It is illegal to keep these cats as pets so we are assuming that Mtoro was an illegally kept pet that escaped someone’s home.

Guest’s initial reaction upon seeing him is “Look at the Cheetah.” While these cats do have spots like a cheetah, they also have stripes. Cheetahs are also built to run and Mtoro is built to jump. African Servals have been known to jump 10 to 12 feet from the ground and will prey on birds they catch in the air. It would be pretty easy for Mtoro to escape, if he were housed in someone’s back yard. A six foot privacy fence is not going to do much good. Mtoro also weighs about 30 pounds (about 1/3 the weight of an adult cheetah).

You can see Mtoro at Busch Gardens in Jack Hanna’s Wild Reserve. He is often in his habitat stalking the wild squirrels that live in the trees above. He is also one of the animals that you may encounter on our behind-the-scenes tour. Come check out Mtoro and the rest of the animal ambassadors this summer at Busch Gardens.

Kendell
Animal Care Specialist at Busch Gardens

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Anna permalink
    June 12, 2010 10:54 pm

    We recently went to BG and met Mtoro.. what a cute feline! Got to give a shout out to Tori the staff member who introduced us to Mtoro- she was great! Even got a picture with her. 😉

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