Caracal

tkrosevear

Joined February 2008

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Artist's Description

This photo was taken at the “Living Desert” a rehabilitation zoo in Palm Desert, CA, several years ago while updating my rehabilitation credentials with Chuck Traisi.
Big Cat Rescue
The Caracal is also called Persian Lynx or African Lynx, its a fircely territorial medium sized cat: males weighing in about 28-40 pounds, while females are smaller; they are about 2 feet long with a tail about a foot long with longer legs and a slimmer appearance than a lynx; the color of the fur is variable; the most conspicuous feature is its elongated, tufted black ears, which also explains the origin of its name – karakulak, Turkish for “black ear”. Recent DNA research has shown that the Caracal is not a close relative of lynxes at all, but is instead related to the Serval and the African Golden Cat. The Caracal is distributed over Africa and western Asia. It is most well-known for its skill with hunting birds; as it is able to snatch a bird in flight, sometimes more than one at a time; it can jump and climb exceptionally well, approximately 3 meters high. In the wild, its life expectancy is about 12 years, while in captivity to about 17 years. Since it is also surprisingly easy to tame, it has been used as a hunting cat in Iran and India.
Because the Caracal is so easily tamed, it is sometimes kept as a pet (as the one pictured was initially) and is said to adapt easily to living with humans. It is almost impossible to see in the wild, because it hides very well. The biggest threat to this mammal is hybridising with domestic cats, to tame its territorial spraying behaviors AND/OR farmers protective of their poultry and cattle.



Artwork Comments

  • Dawn B Davies-McIninch
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  • Alison Pearce
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