Our Partners and Collaborators

Mount Camdeboo

Daniell Cheetah Project

Unique Foster Mission: Rewilding a Caracal Kitten

A young caracal kitten, brought from the Daniell Cheetah Project, was introduced to an adult male and female caracal, which were rescued from Seaview Predator Park.  The integration of these animals was a delicate process, but it proved successful as they were eventually bonded as a family unit. Eventually, this trio was fitted with tracking collars and released together into the wilds of Mount Camdeboo where they thrived. 

This caracal success story shows the feasibility of rescuing wildlife from captivity, including orphaned or baby animals, and successfully integrating them with new foster partners for rewilding.

WeWild Africa is committed to exploring creative and innovative strategies in wildlife conservation. 

What is a caracal and why are they important to ecosystem biodiversity?

Caracals are captivating wild cats, known for their reddish-brown fur and distinctive black ear tufts. Among Africa’s small cats, they are the largest, with males weighing up to 40 pounds and females slightly smaller.

Historically, caracals have played significant roles in ancient civilizations. In Egypt, they were associated with gods and goddesses like Mafdet and Pakhet, and gilded statues of caracals even protected the tombs of pharaohs. Both Egyptian and Indian royalty reportedly tamed caracals for hunting, particularly game birds. These cats were so revered that ancient Chinese royal families used them as diplomatic gifts during the Yuan dynasty in the 13th and 14th centuries

Adapted to arid environments, caracals can thrive in areas with scarce water sources, as they can obtain sufficient fluids from their prey. This ability, combined with their adaptation to release only concentrated urine to conserve water, allows them to inhabit regions that other cats might neglect​​. Caracals possess unique adaptations for their hunting lifestyle, including long stiff hairs between the pads of their feet, enabling them to silently stalk prey even on the soft sands of the Saharan and Arabian deserts​​. They are also swift runners, capable of reaching speeds of 50 mph, thanks to their cursorial adaptations​​.

Their ears are another remarkable feature. Comprising 20 muscles, these ears allow caracals to turn them in various directions to identify sounds and locate prey more easily, enhancing their hunting prowess. Interestingly, the function of their long black ear tufts is still not fully understood, but it’s believed they may function similarly to whiskers, aiding in silent hunting.

Caracals play a vital role in ecological biodiversity by controlling prey populations, especially rodents, which are agricultural pests and disease carriers.


How You Can Help

The work carried out by WeWild Africa is only possible with the support of individual donors like yourself. You can join us and help us to rescue wildlife, rewild animals, and restore landscapes. 


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