The caracal is wine-red, grey or sand coloured with black marks above the eyes and long, tufted back ears.

Conservation status: Cites Appendix II. 2007 IUCN Red List: Least Concern
Distribution: Widespread south of the Sahara.
Habitat: Dry steppes, semi-desert, woodlands, savannah and scrub forest.
Field characteristics: Males 13-18kg, females lighter. Head and body length 65cm. Tail length 30cm. Shoulder height 40-45cm.
Colour: Wine-red, grey or sand-coloured. Black marks above the eyes. Characteristic long, tufted black ears.
Feeding: Opportunistic. Largely nocturnal. Prey comprises hares, hyraxes, birds, lizards, snakes. Able to catch small antelope, roosting raptors and domestic livestock. Most moisture obtained from the tissue fluids of prey.
Breeding: Gestation period 70 – 78 days. One to four young are born in burrows, bushes or rock crevices.
Lifespan: 12 years (17 years in captivity).
Social system: Usually solitary, pairs for mating.

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