The Caracal

Scientific Name: Caracal caracal
IUCN Status: Least Concern
Weight: 26-42 pounds

Malawi_Portrait

Description:

The caracal is a medium sized built cat with a relatively short tail that reaches its hind heels. Muscular and slightly elongated hind legs give the hindquarters an elevated appearance. The forepaws are large with well-developed claws. The head is heavily built with large, distinctive ears, which are black with long tufts.

Prey:

The caracal has the ability to take down prey up to 4 times its own weight. A variety of mammals comprise 70% of the caracal diet. After mammals, the most important prey category is made up of a wide array of birds followed by reptiles and amphibians.

Biology:

Caracals reproduce year round, however peak months are from October through February, or November through May, depending on the cat’s home range. Gestation is 68-81 days. Litter sizes average 2-3 kittens, exceptionally reaching as many as 6.