28 March 2010

Collared Caracal

A few weeks, while checking up on my cameras, ago I noticed a Caracal walking in the distance. I had a digital camera with me and took a few photographs, just for the record. I was a bit far away for the x3 zoom to reach, but I could see it fine with the naked eye. It had a huge radio collar around its neck.

Caracal (Rooikat) walking over the hills at Tygerberg Nature Reserve

I heard from the people at Tygerberg that somebody is doing research on Caracals at the reserve and this must be one of the research animals. (I would like to find out more about the research and share some of my results with the researcher when I have some time on my hands...)

Last week I photographed a collared Caracal. This is probably the same individual as the one I saw before. The feline posed beautifully and in this picture you can see the radio collar clearly.

That collar might look bigger than his head, but he seems to be wearing it with pride...

Caracal are know for their bad attitude. I always think this is because it's head is way to small for the rest of its body. Its almost as if they are constantly on a power trip.

There really seems to be a strong population of Caracal at the reserve. The first Caracal was photographed the first day the camera was put out and the non-collared individual below was photographed only four days later.

A different Caracal crosses the road

Caracals hunt small to medium sized mammals, although they will also catch birds and reptiles. There are some interesting videos on the internet about Caracals, here is a link to one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57qew_cglac. The information presented by the narrator is not entirely accurate, but the video speaks for itself in terms of the leaping ability of Caracals. The leap at the end of the video is just amazing. (The Caracal is in fact in its own genus: Caracal caracal and not in the lynx genus. They just happen to resemble a lynx to some extent, especially the ears.)


  1. Good catch. That radio transmitter is humongous. Must be carrying quite a load of batteries. Or is it a GPS collar?

  2. While I was at the reserve today I asked some of the staff whether they had some information about the Caracal with the collar. All that they could tell me on the spot was that somebody (I'm assuming a student) was doing a study on Caracals at the reserve, the collar was some sort of “satellite collar” (I'm assuming GPS) and that it was supposed to come off by itself but didn't. They are now trying to capture it again and take it off manually. I'll keep an ear open for more news...

  3. Did you hear about this caracal again? Certainly, the collar is huge!

  4. @Anonymous: Yes, the people from Tygerberg kept an eye on it and I might have photographed it again after it lost the collar. (You can find a blog post about it here: http://remotecamera-sa.blogspot.com/2010/07/tygerberg-travelers.html )