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.