CARACAL - Felis caracal - 1125 views 2011/09/09

Magriet Meintjes

TOLWE, South Africa

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Featured in The World as we see it or as we missed it

Nikon D50
Lens: Sigma 70-300mmDG
Focal Length: 300mm
1/400 sec – F/5.6
THE CARACAL – Felis caracal
Location Captured: Groenland Game Lodge/Reserve, Tolwe, Limpopo Province, South Africa.
Shoulder height: 40cm MASS: 16kg GESTATION: 75 days, up to two kittens.
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.
DIET: 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 jump into the air to seize a low-flying bird.

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