The caracal stands 16 - 20 inches at the shoulder and weighs 40 to 45 pounds.


Found in open, dry country from semi-desert to savanna. They hide and sleep in crevices among rocks and fallen trees.


The Caracal is widespread and common throughout South Africa.

Diet - Carnivores

The Caracal feeds on rodents, small antelope, hares and birds and sometimes eats sheep and goats. It is mainly active in the morning and evening although during the hottest months it hunts at night. The Caracal can survive for long periods without drinking as most of the moisture it needs comes from the tissue fluids of its prey.


Caracal are mostly nocturnal creatures, secretive and solitary. When cornered they become extremely aggressive. As a result of being hunted by farmers (as they prey on small livestock), caracal have became even more elusive and the possibility of seeing them has become fairly difficult.


Sexual maturity occurs at about 20 months.


Gestation is 70 to 78 days and between 1 to 4 young are born.

Life Expectancy

12 years in the wild, up to 20 years in captivity.


Humans - Caracal are often killed by farmers, because of predation on their livestock.