Caracal - Caracal caracal


Weight: 35-50 pounds 
Head/Body: 29 inches 
Tail: 9 inches 
Subspecies: 9

The caracal is most famous for their skill in catching birds, sometimes more than one in a single leap. They resemble lynxes, but are more related to servals. They are named after the Turkish "karakulak", which means "black ear". Their range is from Africa to Asia. Caracals are almost impossible to see in the wild, not because there are so few of them, but because they hide extremely well. Game drives in countries such as Kenya and Botswana widely encounter other animals, but a sighting of a caracal is extremely rare.

The caracal is a small feline, similar in appearance to the lynx, and is found throughout central and southern Africa. It is a small but graceful cat, with distinctive tufted ears.

It is a powerful medium-sized cat with long legs, weighing up to 50 pounds, and standing about 25+ inches at the shoulder. The caracal is capable of taking down and killing prey species at over twice its body weight. The Caracal is such an expert at catching birds in mid-flight, that it was once trained for that purpose in India, thus giving rise to the saying "to set a cat among the pigeons".

The African caracal, Asian caracal, caracal, or desert lynx, is listed as Least Concern. It does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.