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Caracal at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Click to see more.

Caracal

Caracal caracal

Family

Felidae, the cat family

Conservation Status

Least concern, IUCN

Distribution

This cat ranges from central India west through Asia to Israel and Jordan, south into the Arabian Peninsula and the continent of Africa.

Habitat

Dry habitats: deserts, savannas, acacia scrub, arid steppes and mountains (not found in sand dunes).

Factoid

Possibly the best bird hunter known! It is an expert jumper, often catches birds by leaping at them to a height up to 10 feet and swats them out of the air with its paws: up to 10 at a time. There are a few theories for their tufts: used as antennas, keep flies away, as camouflage in tall grass by breaking outline of its head and, most widely accepted, the tufts help them communicate.

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