Caracal

Caracal

Caracal caracal

See them at the Zoo

Quick Facts
Body Length: Body Length: 22" - 36"; Tail Length: 9" - 12"
Weight: 24 to 26 inches  
Wild Diet: Hyraxes, medium-sized antelope and deer, birds of all sizes, rodents, and reptiles
Zoo Diet: Fortified beef, mice, pork, and shank bones
Distribution: Almost all of Africa except the rain forest belt and the driest deserts; in Asia, dry zones of Arabia eastwards to central India
Habitat: Dry savannahs, mountains, hills, and grasslands with at least sparse vegetation

Dinner Time

Caracals are strong enough to hunt large prey, too, regularly taking animals over twice their own weight. They have been documented to tackle creatures as big as adult impala, domestic calves, and young kudus. Even an adult ostrich, if sitting down, can fall victim to this versatile carnivore.

Description

Caracals are sexually dimorphic (2 distinct gender forms), although it is is hard to tell. They are red-gray, yellow-gray, or brownish depending on which of the 9 subspecies it is. There is a dark spot over each eye and a dark line running backward over the head. Shadowy stripes and spots mark the insides of the leg and belly. Their chin, throat, and belly are white in color. Their fur is short and dense. They have long, black tinted ears that are edged in black and tipped with exceptionally long tufts of dark hair.

Status in the Wild

They are scarce in North Africa, South Africa, and parts of Asia.

Conservation Programs

Listed as of “least concern" on the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources)

 


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