A sehlat was a type of animal native to Vulcan and appeared as a large bear-like creature. They were noted for their six-inch fangs and fur that covered their bodies. They did not like to climb and preferred to remain close to the ground, which provided a way for travelers to escape such animals. Captain Jonathan Archer and Commander T'Pol used such an option to escape a wild sehlat in 2154.
Despite their appearances, sehlats were known to be domesticated by Vulcans. (TOS episode: "Journey to Babel") These domesticated versions of the animals were far smaller than the wild sehlats that prowled the harsh deserts of their homeworld. Vulcan children were never late with their pet sehlat's meal due to the aggressive nature of the animals. (ENT episode: "The Forge")
- Vai-sehlat may be a term to describe wild sehlats. During TOS, the word was pronounced "sell it." By ENT, it was "say lot."
Sarek had a pet sehlat named I-Chaya that later passed in ownership to Spock. I-Chaya was killed in 2237 after sustaining injuries from a Le-matya. Spock chose to euthanize I-Chaya in order to end his pet's suffering. (TAS episode: "Yesteryear")
In 2254, the Vulcan Sutek of the Last-of-all-Cities colony compared the rest of Vulcan culture to a "lap sehlat," losing their true Vulcan passion and falling into step with what he considered the flaccid Human race. (EV comic: "Cloak and Dagger")
In 2286, during his recovery from fal-tor-pan on Vulcan, Spock wandered into the mountains and encountered a sehlat. In his confusion, he first thought it was I-Chaya. He then helped defend its young from an attack by five le-matyas. (TOS comic: "The Needs of the One")
By the early 24th century, sehlats had spread beyond Vulcan. On planet Vendrak IV, a young girl named Arava found a stray sehlat and took it in as a pet, to the dismay of her guardian, Dalal. (TLE novel: Well of Souls)