The Wildheart Animal Sanctuary are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their latest animals, a pair of beautiful Servals called Tafkap and Xirus who were rescued from the illegal pet trade in France.

In early 2020 they had been smuggled out of the Czech Republic and into France having been stripped from their mother and forced into a life of pain and suffering at an early age.

The French authorities discovered the pair being kept isolated from each other in tiny rooms – a bedroom and a bathroom – because they fought so much when left together.

Tafkap and Xirus were taken into the care of our rescue partners in Holland, Animal Advocacy and Protection (AAP) and subsequent x-rays and tests showed they had malformed and broken bones having not received enough calcium in their diet. They were also severely malnourished.

Having been rehabilitated in Holland, the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary will now provide a forever home for Tafkap and Xirus after they completed their journey from Holland yesterday.

Our rescue partner in Holland, AAP commented:

“Recently we have noticed a worrying trend in the Netherlands with more and more servals being kept as pets. As a result, more and more servals are coming to our shelter. The exotic serval is anything but pet friendly. Xirus and Tafkap were kept as pets and were locked up in their owner’s bathroom .and bedroom Poor nutrition caused them such a severe calcium deficiency that their bones were deformed. We also found a number of old bone fractures. We are so happy they have made the journey safely to the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary where we know they will receive the absolute best possible care.

Located in Almere, Netherlands, the AAP is a European sanctuary that provides professional care, rehabilitation, and housing for exotic animals. For over thirty years, this not-for-profit organization has served as a safe haven for animals who came from illegal trade, research laboratories, circuses, illegal zoos, or from private people as exotic pets.

Servals are wild cats native to Africa and widespread in sub-Saharan countries, except rainforest regions. They are medium-sized, slender cats with long legs, a lean body, a short tail, and a small head.

They are adept and highly successful hunters – while other wild cats are successful in just one of every five or six attempts to kill prey, servals make a kill in about half of all tries.

They catch much of their prey by leaping high into the air and pouncing. Standing on its hind legs, a serval can jump more than 9 feet straight up to grab a bird right out of the air.

For more information on our SERVIVAL please visit our campaign webpage here.