Caracal Population Falling
Recently, the caracal population in the farmlands of southern Namibia are beginning to suffer. Instead of them being the hunter, they are being hunted. By livestock farmers and ranchers. Same happening in South Africa. Something needs to be done, if we don't want this species to end up critically endangered as it is in India already.
Livestock farmers and ranchers are blaming the caracal for the killing of some of their livestock. Livestock farmers and ranchers have re-acted with a “shoot on sight” attitude. Most cats are shot and killed on farms when it is seen just crossing. Some ranchers are also using traps, which is even more cruel and certainly not the answer. The caracal is left to die a slow death due to slow blood loss, dehydration or from another predator. What the livestock farmers do not understand is that the caracal has a specific diet and livestock is not one of their preferences. They can actually be easily deterred from preying on livestock. Don't blame and kill the caracal for what they didn't do! Education is very important in this matter!
Caracals main prey are hydrax, hares and birds. However, they have been known to prey on chickens, young sheep and goats. What the farmers don’t know is that the caracals that are not preying on the livestock actually protect the region from other predators that do, such as wild dogs and other smaller predators. The caracal is best known for it’s skill in hunting birds. It is able to leap up and snatch a bird right out of the air. They are surprisingly easy to tame and because of their skill in hunting birds, this has led to many caracals being trained to hunt game birds for the Persian and Indian royalty. Caracals are wild cats though and no pets!
The caracal is a beautiful and elusive wild cat that lives in Africa, Arabia, central Asia and central India. The caracal is a medium sized wild cat and is noted for it’s beautiful elongated, tufted black ears. The male caracal will weigh between 30 and 40 pounds while the female weight around 25 to 30 pounds. They are approximately 25 to 35 inches in length and have a tail that is about one-third of their body length. The word caracal comes from the Turkish word, karakulak, for “black ear”. The caracal belongs to a lineage that dates back almost nine and a half million years, which makes it one of the oldest memebers of the family, felidae. Little is known about the caracal as they are rarely seen in the wild.
THE S.C.C. CARACALPROJECT IN SOUTH AFRICA IS DEDICATED TO THE ABUSED CARACAL AMBASSADOR NINA.
The Caracal Project of Spotted Cats Conservation, S.A. is dedicated to late Wild Cats World ambassador Nina. This young caracal was intentionally injured at sanctuary Stichting Leeuw/Landgoed Hoenderdaell in Holland. The injuries caused the death of the 8 months old caracal. Her ashes spread at the project in S.A., she will live on as the ambassador of her species. Caracals are being chased and killed daily, often for the wrong reasons. In India the species is already highly endangered, in Namibia the situation is getting critical already and we don't want South Africa to be the next.
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