The Caracal is a medium-sized wild cat that is around one metre (3.3ft) in length. The Caracal is sometimes called the desert Lynx or African Lynx, but it is not a member of the Lynx genus.

The Caracal is native to Africa, Central Asia, Southwest Asia and India, and its name comes from the Turkish word "karakulak", which means "black ear".

The most distinctive feature of the Caracal is the long black tufts on the back of the ears, measuring roughly 4.4 centimetres (1.75in) in length. The Caracal is often referred to as the desert Lynx, although these black tufts are the only characteristic shared with the Lynx.

Its fur can range from tawny-brown to a brick red. Caracals have white fur on the abdomen, chin and throat; and black lines run from the eye to the nose. Its fur coat is short and very dense; and the ears are lightly coloured in the front and black in the back.

The Caracal is the largest of Africa's "small cats". Males can weigh up to 18 kilograms (40lbs), and females up to 16 kilograms (35lbs). Caracals are about 40 centimetres (16in) to 50 centimetres (20in) tall at the shoulder.

The male and female look the same. Caracals have short tails; and their eye pupils shrink to circles, while other cats' pupils shrink to slits.

Hunting Information

Just about any small caliber centrefire rifle is adequate for the taking of this little cat. The .222 or .223 Remington are excellent medicine for this guy. Even the 22 Hornet would do nicely. Be careful of the larger calibers with expanding bullets if you want to save the pelt. Shot placement is similar to that employed on the big cats: place your shot just behind the shoulder a bit below the midpoint of the body; and he will not go far.

For a great night excursion into the bush, try hunting the Caracal.