A lucky local was blessed with the rare sight of a caracal on Table Mountain recently. The casual cat was spotted along the pipe track and the photographs of the sighting prove just how pretty these mountain felines are.
Abdul Maalik Osman was the lucky hiker that spotted the caracal, who has been confirmed as the Urban Caracal Project’s tagged cat, Hermes.
Hermes is known for his relaxed nature and is often spotted by locals due to his eagerness to venture into areas that humans frequent.
He was spotted casually making his way along the pipe track and stopping every now and then for a rest in nearby bushes.
Hermes displayed a keen sense of curiosity as he usually does and peeked at hikers making their way up the mountain.
“We were walking along the pipe track on Table Mountain, about +-100m after the pipe trail merges with the jeep track from Theresa avenue. We were walking at a regular pace talking, when I noticed it on the right of the trail laying on its tummy in a relaxed position like a house cat. The cat then looked behind us to a couple with a dog. The dog and its owners were within the audible distance of a whistle or a clear projection of voice, and line of sight. The cat then stood up and looked at the dog some more not bothering about us. He crossed the path into the fynbos in the direction of up the mountain,” Osman told the Urban Caracal Project.
6 Fun facts about caracals.
1. Caracals are sometimes referred to as African lynx or desert lynx.
2. They are nocturnal, which means spotting them during the day is quite unusual.
3. Caracals usually have an average of three babies at a time but they can have up to six.
4. Caracals are good mothers, they look after their young for as long as six months after their birth.
5. Their scientific name is Felis Caracal caracal.
6. Caracals can jump up to three metres in the air.
Picture: Abdul Maalik Osman