Beautiful Creatures – the Caracal

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The caracal (Caracal caracal) is a fiercely territorial medium-sized cat ranging over the Middle East and Africa. The word caracal comes from the Turkish word “karakulak”, meaning “black ear”. Although it has traditionally had the alternative names Persian Lynx and African Lynx, the caracal is a form of African Lynx or “The African Golden Cat” . Its ears, which it uses to locate prey are controlled by 20 different muscles. The caracal is classified as a small cat, yet is amongst the heaviest of all small cats, as well as the quickest, being nearly as fast as the serval.  North African populations are disappearing, but caracals are still abundant in other African regions. Their range limits are the Saharan desert and the equatorial forest belt of Western and Central Africa. In South Africa and Namibia, C. caracal is so numerous that it is exterminated as a nuisance animal. Asiatic populations are less dense than those of Africa and Asiatic populations are of greater concern  

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