Caracal

ANIMAL:
Caracal        Caracal caracal

Type of Animal:
Feline

Habitat:
Woodland, savanna, scrub, scrub forest, semi-desert, desert, dry forest, humid forests (not rainforests or jungles), mountainous areas, marshy lowlands, plains, rocky hills, thickets

Location(s):
Much of Africa except for much of Sahara & rainforests to parts of Middle East avoiding extreme desert through Iraq & Iran all the way to extreme W. India

Appearance:
Beige-orange coloration w/ tufted, pointy ears & white belly. Males larger than females. Slender but muscular w/ short tail.

Food/Diet:
Rodents, hyraxes, hares, rabbits, goats, sheep, mongooses, birds, carrion, gazelles, duikers, dwarf antelopes, kudu calves, reedbuck, blackbuck, impala, bushbuck, domestic calves, domestic pigs, hedgehogs, insects, snakes, lizards up to size of sub-adult monitor lizards, vegetables, tortoises, foxes, young crocodiles, genets, black-footed cats

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos & wildlife centers

Lifestyle:
Solitary or male-female pairs

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Tom
Female-Queen
Young-Kitten
Group-Pair

Weight:
Male-25.6 lbs
Female-15.2 lbs
Young-4.2 lbs

Gestation: 
70 days

Height:
Male-1.5 ft
Female-1.3 ft

Body Length:
Male-4 ft
Female-3 ft

Life Span: 
12 years in wild, up to 18 years in captivity

Tail Length:
0.7-1 ft

Fiercely territorial w/ fights sometimes resulting in death.

Each male territory encompasses up to 3 female territories.

They’re generally nocturnal.

Sexually mature at 1 year old.

Often hunted for preying on livestock & for fur & meat.

Sometimes called “Desert Lynx.”

Main predators are lions, hyenas, pythons, crocodiles, & leopards.

Fun Fact(s):
Used to be kept in South African airports to scare birds away.

Possess ability to leap quite high into the air to catch low-flying birds.

There have been cases of cornered caracals driving off packs of dogs.
 
Indian, Egyptian, & Persian royalty kept them as pets for hunting purposes.

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