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