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Photo: Dr Mircea Pfleiderer

The caracal (Felis caracal) or lynx as it is commonly called (incorrectly), has a large distribution covering Africa and Asia.  Its most distinguishing features are the black ears with the long tufts.  It is this feature that was used to name the cat (“karakulak” is Turkish for black ears). The cats weigh between 13 – 18kg with a shoulder height around 45cm. The strong hindquarters are used to propel them into the air to catch birds in flight.  They have been recorded knocking up to 12 birds out of the air at one time.  The jumping and climbing ability is also used to catch dassies among rocks.  Dassies, which can cause a lot of damage to farmers crops, are preyed upon significantly by caracal.  Caracals are regarded as vermin by livestock farmers who trap and kill them. This is unfortunate as it is usually only certain individuals that will take livestock but they are, mostly, all targeted for destruction. 


 

caracal (south african lynx) - predatours wild cats

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