Hunting Caracal in Africa


Scientific Name:

Felis caracal

Shoulder Height:

40 cm


16 kg


75 days; up to 2 kittens.


Carnivorous. Rats and mice make up the usual diet, but small mammals, such as dassies, monkeys and game birds are also eaten. This species is more powerful than the serval, taking larger prey up to the size of a young kudu. Also known to take full-grown sheep and goats. The prey is usually knocked down with a sideways slap; the serval uses a downward slap. It has been known to spring into the air to seize a low-flying bird.

Like the serval the caracal is mainly nocturnal and solitary. It is shy, lying up during the day. If cornered it will savagely defend itself and spit loudly, otherwise it is silent. It will sometimes purr softly. This animal occurs widely but sparsely in most of Southern Africa; it is rare in populated areas.