Officially… the serval seen in a video in Tangier does not represent a danger to humans

Data from the National Agency for Water and Forests reveals that the serval, spotted in a forest on the outskirts of Tangier, is considered an “endangered species”. In addition, this type of rare animals does not pose a danger to humans.

The agency said that in Morocco, “the serval is endangered, and it is possible to find it from the region of Guelmim and Oued Draa to Aït Ouabelli in the east, and the Noun/Assaka valley on the edge of the Western Atlas Mountains to the north. As for the Middle Atlas, it goes from Azrou to Ouirgane, and two recent observations were documented in 2013 and 2014.

In a statement following the circulation of a video showing the serval in the Mulukhiyah forest in Tangier, the agency launched, in collaboration with local authorities and the royal gendarmerie, a vast operation to comb these areas to search for this animal and verify the veracity of this information.

The campaign included a field exploration of areas where this animal was reportedly seen, as well as surrounding areas, to search for traces of this animal and gather information from locals about it for expert analysis. Efforts continue to find its source and determine how it arrived in the Mulukhiyah Forest at Cape Spartel.

The source stressed that “the serval” is only present in zoological gardens, where it lives in captivity”, indicating that the impact of “the serval” on local populations and its environment in general is generally limited, in due to its relative small size and diet which depends primarily on hunting smaller prey such as rodents. “The serval does not pose a direct danger to humans, but on the contrary, it can even be useful in helping to regulate rodent populations that could become harmful to agriculture or public health if overpopulated.

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