Caracal hunts African wildcat but he escapes by leaping 30 feet from tree

Location:  Kgalagadi National Park, South Africa. Photographer: Tiaan Steynberg (33 years-of-age).

wildcat chased by caracal

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The caracal is hunting what appears to be a domestic tabby cat (this is what the newspapers are saying). But is he? Is the hunted cat an African wildcat? He could be because they look very similar. Also it is probable that the hunted cat is a wildcat because, I believe, it is unlikely that a domestic cat would be wandering around a National Park. Here is a picture of a Southern African wildcat:

Southern African wildcat

Southern African wildcat. Photo by hyper7pro on Flickr.

In fact looking carefully at the photo below I am pretty certain this is a Southern African wildcat being hunted by the bigger caracal. The caracal is very athletic and strong; a medium-sized cat while the wildcat is similar in size to our domestic cats. Also some African wildcats are hybrids because they breed with domestic cats. This makes them even more similar in appearance to the ‘tabby domestic moggie’. Look at the face of the cat in the tree. He/she has that special wild look which you only see in true wild cats.

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wildcat chased by caracal

The Mirror newspaper (the source of this story) describe the prey as a “domestic moggy’.

As the caracal chased the wildcat up a tree in the Nossob Camp, SA., when at the top he/she leapt off spectacularly. This was a 30 foot leap to safety. It appears that the wildcat (or moggie!?) survived the incredible jump without injury and escaped the caracal.

The caracal continued to chase the cat after the leap but failed to catch him.

wildcat chased by caracal

wildcat chased by caracal

Another example of the fabulous athleticism of the cat and their ability to fan out to slow their descent during high falls.

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Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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3 Responses

  1. Dee (Florida) says:

    It’s always amazing to me that cats will prey on cats.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Me too. It seems unnatural. But then again humans prey on humans and we are the same species. At least cats of different species prey on each other!

      • Dee (Florida) says:

        Certainly. But, at least today, I don’t have the desire to consume another human. Well…to think about it, I would love to chew Jimbo/Woody up and spit him out. But, to ingest… NO!

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