I've been sorting out the caracal kills database over the last few weeks, filling in missing information and looking through photos of kills that never made it to the freezer for closer inspection. It can be tricky identifying a half-eaten prey item when you have it right in front of you, but this becomes much more … Continue reading When predator becomes urban caracal prey
First, to introduce the main cat characters. Protea is one of the adult female caracals and the 24th cat to be captured on the Urban Caracal Project. Her territory stretches along the white, sandy beaches on the wild, west coast from the Cape of Good Hope lighthouse through to Kommetjie, which she uses as a … Continue reading Two killer kitties’ favourite snacks
Ongoing student protests at UCT have really slowed things down, as many of my student volunteers have been unable to come to campus. It has been a very tumultuous time, with anxiety levels high. As a result I have not managed to process many samples. Nevertheless, there have been a few interesting ones! One of … Continue reading A few more caracal lunches, and some mystery claws!
Here are a few of the more interesting prey items found in the scat analysis so far. Most of the samples contain mammalian prey items (i.e. composed mainly of hair), and of those, most seem to be rodent. I still need to go through all those with hair and look at cross-sections under the microscope to … Continue reading Some (very) preliminary findings
One of the first things I did was look up some old illustrations of caracal, justing to get a feeling for how they are viewed by artists and the sort of settings in which they are usually portrayed. Here are some of the images I found. Interestingly the prey items are all birds!