Caracal

The caracal (Caracal caracal) is a carnivorous mammal of the Felidae family, which other felines such as lions or tigers belong to. This majestic animal lives on the African savanna and has two very amusing tufts of fur on its ears. Although it is also known by the name “African lynx” or “desert lynx,” it is not part of that genus.

Scientific name:

Caracal caracal

Species:

Caracal caracal

Family:

Felidae. Subfamilia: Felinae

Order:

Carnivora

Class:

Mammals

Diet

Carnivore

Pregnancy

70 to 80 days

Number of puppies

Up to 6 young

Lifespan

Up to 18 years in captivity

Weight

Between 31 and 37 pounds

Size

24 to 30 inches long, including its tail

Shape of the caracal

These animals are medium sized and are larger than cats. They are usually between 24 and 30 inches long, including its tail, and weigh between 31 and 37 pounds.

Its coat is copper-colored, almost like cinnamon, and it does not have spots. It has great eyesight and very sharp hearing due to its large pointy black ears. In fact, its name comes from the Turkish word Karakulak, which means “black ears.”

The most characteristic trait of these felines are the two tufts of black fur that grow at the top of its ears as well as the two black lines which start on its snout and extend to the area above its eyes.

Behavior of the caracal

Except during mating season, caracals are fairly solitary. Sometimes you can see them in pairs, but they prefer to be on their own. What’s more, although they look adorable, they are wild animals and steer clear of people.

Habitat of the caracal

The caracal lives on the African savanna and semi-arid areas of Africa and Asia, reaching as far as India and Kazakhstan.

This animal avoids heavily wooded areas and usually rests during the hottest part of the day among rocks, where its coppery fur allows it to perfectly camouflage itself with its surroundings.

What does this feline eat?

The Caracal caracal is a robust, compact animal with powerful musculature. It can reach fast speeds in little time and distance. It can also jump nearly 10 feet in the air, which allows it to hunt many birds. What’s more, it can climb fairly easily thanks to its strong build.

Due to these characteristics, these carnivorous animals are excellent hunters. They can eat small mammals, such as hares and rodents. But without a doubt, its favorite prey is birds.

What’s more, as habitats where this species lives are dry, caracals have learned to survive with little water.

Caracal reproduction

The gestation period for these felines lasts between 70 and 80 days. Females can have up to six young, although the most common number is three. Likewise, they can live for up to 18 years in captivity.

In ancient times, because of their agility and strength, they were domesticated and used for hunting in Egypt as well as in Persia and India.

 Nowadays, despite that fact that the species as a whole is not threatened, it is protected in several areas where it lives, as the central Asian subspecies is critically endangered.

Degree of threat


Location


You can find me in this area inside the park.

Download the map

Habitat


Africa and Western Asia.