Do caracals kill humans?

No, caracals do not kill humans. They are too small. There are no records whatsoever of caracals killing adult humans. They can be aggressive towards people and they can harm people because they are wild cats and can weigh up to about 20 kg. Also, they are fast and are perhaps the highest jumpers of all the cat species. They regularly kill prey that is 2 to 3 times their size. But 2 to 3 times the size of a caracal would be an absolute maximum of about 60 kilograms. Theoretically, I suppose, they could kill a woman, a baby or a boy, for example, but there are no records of this.

Caracal. Photo: iStockphoto.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

In fact, in some areas of Africa caracals kill domestic stock, 91% of which are animals which are 2 to 3 times the body weight of a female caracal. Female caracals weigh around 10 kg which is 22 pounds. They normally kill larger animals such as sheep, goats, and antelope with a throat bite.

“The larger prey species (antelope) were killed with a bite in the throat at the junction of the lower jaw and neck.”

They stalk their prey to within about 5 meters and then employ a short burst to capture the animal. It might be described as the “stalk, rush, kill” technique. It is very typical of cat species.

Despite their ability to kill prey three times their size, they mainly attack and kill prey that weighs less than 5 kg, including hares, small rodents, birds and hyraxes.

Observers of the caracal are invariably impressed by their athleticism, particularly their jumping skills. One specialist in this field, Smithers, had a pet caracal and was able to observe behaviour. He says that she caught live doves “quicker than the eye could follow”. He said that “her reactions were very quick and she had extraordinary powers of leaping. When startled one night as she lay relaxed on the floor, she sprang up, hitting the wall with her front feet at a measured height of 3.4 metres.”

Smithers RHN 1966. The mammals of Rhodesia, Zambia and Malawi. London. Collins.


follow it link and logo