Brits, South Africa
Durban, South Africa
Scientific name: Caracal caracal
Country / Place of origin: Asia and Africa
History: The Caracal is a fiercely territorial medium-sized cat ranging over Western Asia and Africa. There are 9 recognized Caracal subspecies. The conservation status of the Caracal is listed as Appendix II in CITES (species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled), and of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Caracals are sometimes kept as pets and can easily adapt to a human environment. Keeping a Caracal typically requires a license, and is recommended only for individuals who have experience with keeping wild cats.
Appearance: The Caracal is a slender, yet muscular, cat, with long legs and a short tail. Males typically weigh 13 to 18 kilograms (29 to 40 lb), while females weigh about 11 kilograms (24 lb). The caracal resembles a Eurasian Lynx, and for a long time it was considered a close relative of the lynxes. It has a tail nearly a third of its body length, and both sexes look the same. The Caracal is 65 to 90 centimetres (26 to 35 in) in length, with a 30 centimetres (12 in) tail. Compared to lynxes, it has longer legs, shorter fur, and a slimmer appearance.The color of the fur varies between wine-red, grey, or sand-coloured. Melanistic (black) caracals also occur. Young caracals bear reddish spots on the underside; adults do not have markings except for black spots above the eyes and small white patches around the eyes and nose. Underparts of chin and body are white, and a narrow black line runs from the corner of the eye to the nose.
Average weight: 24 - 40 lbs.
Lifespan: 12 - 17 years
Diet: In the wild, Caracal generally hunt birds, rodents, scrub hares and small antelope. The Caracal has an amazing jump and is capable of jumping up to two metres.
Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: Caracals produce the usual range of sounds for cats, including growling, hissing, purring, and calling. Unusually, they also make a barking sound, which is possibly used as a warning.[