Physical characteristics and distribution

Body length: 60 – 80 cm
Weight: 8 – 18 kg
Life expectancy: up to 19 years
Distribution: Africa, the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Israel, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Jordan, Syria
Habitat: semi-deserts, steppes, dry savanna
Species: not endangered


The color of the Karakalfelles varies greatly depending on the habitat. In arid areas it is usually reddish brown to sandy brown, in areas rich in precipitation even brick red. The ventral side of the caracal is lighter colored than the rest of the body and slightly spotted. The face drawing around the mouth and eyes is black and white. The ears are dyed black at the back; the black brushes are very long and noticeable. He also owes his name to him: Karakal is derived from the Turkish “Garah Gulak”, which means as much as black ear. The brush of the caracal are about five centimeters, the longest in the cat family. The tail of the caracal is very long in relation to his body, similar to that of a cougar. Typical of the carakal is that its hind legs are much longer than its front legs. This anatomical feature makes him an excellent high jumper.

Reproduction and development

The breeding time depends on the condition of the climate and the ground and varies in the distribution area. The births, however, always take place in a season in which a particularly large number of prey animals are present, so that the female can relatively easily bring in food for her young. The gestation lasts about 80 days, then usually one to three boys are born. At birth, the female Karakal retreats to a safe place, such as a rock niche or a hollow tree trunk. The boys are initially completely helpless, weigh only 250 grams and have their eyes closed until the tenth day of life. After about a month, they get their milk teeth and begin to eat solid foods given to them by the mother. At the age of six to seven, they make their first hunting attempts – still unsuccessful, but they still have a couple of months to improve their skills, because it takes about one year for them to leave their mothers’ own hunting grounds search. At the age of two, the wildcats are fully grown

Lifestyle and behavior

Field studies in South Africa, Israel and Turkmenistan have shown that the Karakal leads a solitary life outside the mating season, but in comparison to many other predators does not claim its living and hunting area for sole use. At all borders of its territory there may be overlaps with areas of neighboring individuals of both sexes. To prevent unpleasant encounters between neighbors, set the wild cats on their forays urine and secretion smells brands. These scent marks also serve as a source of information; Karakals, even if they rarely meet, are always well informed, for example, about the fitness of the males or the willingness to mate of the females. The size of the Karakal territories varies greatly. They can cover an area of five to 200 square kilometers.


The caracal, also called desert lynx because of the similarity of its ear brushes to the lynx, hunts especially at night. Despite his extreme speed, he is – like most wild cats – a stalker. That is, he creeps up to his prey very carefully and quietly and then surprises her with his lightning-fast attack. In this way he mainly captures rabbits, rodents and sometimes dwarf antelopes. With powerful hind legs that are longer than its front legs, the caracal has excellent jumping ability. From a standing position, he can jump up to three meters high and catch flying birds in flight. The caracal can cover its fluid requirement almost exclusively through the food, so it does not need to be supplemented.

Hunting style, equipment and countries

Karakale are very shy and occur in South Africa and Namibia. The hunt takes place either with the trap, by chance when sitting / stalking or deliberately with dogs in East Cape in South Africa. The hunting with the dogs is the most promising, while the caracal is placed by the dogs and then shot with shotgun. The weapon choice for the Karakal is either the shotgun at the dog hunt or the small ball at the Ansitz / Stalk.

Hunting trip Countries


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