Caracal

Rooikat

Felis caracal

Similar to lion, leopard and cheetah, this solitary, powerful, 20 kg cat is simply not compatible with human settlement.  Widely acknowledged as enemy number 2 on small stock farms, (only to Black Backed jackal), the robustly built predator finds itself always on the run.

Elusive on the hunt.  Best to call it in at night with rabbit distress or fawn bleat.  Favorite with taxidermists for full mount.

Mistakes

Although distinctly identifiable with its even reddish-brown color, high hindquarters, tufted ears and short tail, any night hunt is always open to error.  The Serval and African Civet can easily be mistaken for caracal.  When in tall grass or behind scrubs, it is always safer to call predators closer in on a low intensity red light, so that final identification can be made at close range with a white light split seconds before shooting.

 

 

 

Did you know?

Caracals begin feeding on the soft skin inside the thighs and finish the hindquarters, but will not remove the guts like jackal would.  If not disturbed, they will return to a kill, but seldom react to bait.
On eastern Cape farms 50% to 70% of stomachs from hunted caracal contain sheep and goat remains.
There is an unconfirmed theory that the numbers of caracal are kept low by Black Backed jackal, by killing their kittens.
Young males disperse up to 200 km from where they are born.