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Eco Travel Guide to South Africa and Southern Africa
Mammals of Southern Africa

Large Mammals   Smaller Mammals 

The "Big 5": Lion LeopardElephant Buffalo Rhino

A Guide to the: Caracal - Felis caracal

The Caracal has very characterisic tufts of black hair at the end of its pointed ears. It is very good at bush camouflage, and is scarcely noticed when lying frozen against the earth. This graceful cat is a adept hunter and possesses great speed and lightning reflexes: it is a simple matter for it to snatch a flying bird out of the air. The caracal has a leopard-like bark and is robustly built with heavy limbs. It has powerful jaws, long, sharp teeth and its paws have curved heavy claws which make it a fierce predator, which can become very dangerous when injured or cornered. In the wild, they prey on dassies, birds, lizards and small buck, and are generally averse to taking carrion, although they have been known to do so. They are very adept tree climbers, and often take their prey into a tree to be eaten. The caracal prefers to remove fur and feathers from the carcass before eating the rest. The female caracal produces a litter of one to three in a tree or disused aardvark hole.

More facts about Caracals

WHERE FOUND: Kalahari Gemsbok National Park
Augrabies Falls National Park
Addo Elephant National Park
Mountain Zebra National Park
Tsitsikamma National Park
Karoo National Park

Learn more about the mammal species of Southern Africa with Wildlife Campus. This includes in-depth information about habitat, spoor, droppings, ecology...

Wildlife Campus offers many courses including: Field Guide Courses (FGASA); Game Ranging; Wildlife Management; Photography; Astronomy...

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