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Caracal caracal

Description - Other Names - Distribution - Taxonomy

Caracal (Caracal caracal) Silhouette

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Caracal © SA Tourism

The caracal is a highly territorial wild cat and is extremely rare to spot because they hide themselves well. They are fiercer, heavier and bigger then most small cats and live in semi-deserts, savanna, bush and forests by themselves or in groups of two. They are well adapted to live in dry areas, and can live off the water found in the meat they eat.

Caracal © A Barnett-HarrisThey are extraordinary hunters at night and are highly skilled at catching small animals such as birds, rodents, hares and small antelope.

Their short dense fur is reddish brown with black markings above the eyes and long black hair at the tips of their ears. These tufts distinguish the caracal from the lynx.

After a gestation period between 78 and 81 days, they give birth to 1 - 4 kittens. The kittens stay with their mother for a year or until they are old enough to look after themselves The caracal lifespan in the wild averages at about 12 years.

Other Names


Distribution map of the Caracal
Distribution map
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