A soaking wet serval kitten was an unexpected arrival for Exmoor Zoo keepers after its mum decided to give birth in a downpour.

The serval kitten that was born in the rain at Exmoor Zoo during the autumn lockdown. Picture: Katie HorrocksThe serval kitten that was born in the rain at Exmoor Zoo during the autumn lockdown. Picture: Katie Horrocks

In the midst of the autumn lockdown, keeper Tina spotted the drenched kitten and named it ‘Rain’, but the attraction plans to run a Facebook competition for a more enduring name.

Trustee Danny Reynolds said it was a fantastic surprise for staff at the start of the second lockdown. He said: “We usually know when an animal is pregnant as their behaviour changes and they look for suitable birthing spots but this case we were completely taking by surprise by a serval kitten drenched in the rain.

“The mother, despite having a warm and dry den decided to give birth in the exposed wet Exmoor grass of her enclosure.”

Servals are a medium African wild cat that hunt during the day in the grassland savannas - the pair at Exmoor Zoo are one of only four pairs in the UK.

With its supply of visitors cut off due to lockdown, the zoo has relaunched it’s Save our Zoo appeal. You can donate by calling the zoo on 01598 763352 (press 1) or go to www.gofundme.com/save-our-zoo .