Hermes, one of Cape Town’s favourite caracals, has made a comeback. In a short clip shared on Facebook by The Urban Caracal Project, Hermes was recently spotted strolling along a trail in the Mother City. The footage was captured by Tristan Karakashian.
Hermes is known for his calm and relaxed nature and is often spotted strolling through the mountains, unafraid to venture into areas that humans frequent.
Take a look:
Hermes forms part of a much larger group of tagged wildcats being closely monitored by The Urban Caracal Project. He is the 33rd caracal to be brought onto the group. The Urban Caracal Project met him in 2018 after he was hit by a car and badly broke his hind leg, which he miraculously survived through treatment.
According to Dr Gabriella Leighton, Hermes has become quite the star since being released back into the wild. He’s featured in a number of reported sightings by hikers and joggers on the Pipe Track and Tafelberg Road.
The project attributes his laid-back air to the fact that caracals who live near urban areas develop a false sense of safety and often become accustomed to human activity, making them slightly less elusive than usual.
However, while they are undeniably adorable and appear unfazed by people, Hermes and all Cape caracals are still wild animals. When encountering them, it’s best to give them as much space as possible and refrain from interacting.
The Urban Caracal Project aims to protect biodiversity through research and conservation. It operates through the Institute for Communities and Wildlife in Africa (iCWild) at the University of Cape Town.
Ways to support the project:
- Please immediately report all roadkill caracals in the Cape Town area (i.e., the Peninsula and outer suburbs) to Dr Gabriella Leighton at [email protected] or call 079 837 8814.
- The project relies exclusively on donations and grant support that has funded everything from GPS collars and caracal tracking efforts to genetic analyses, supplies, pesticide and disease testing, health assessments, and much more!
- Report caracal sightings HERE.
Its current project expenses are focused on supporting the work of a PhD student, Gabriella Leighton, as she wraps up her urban caracal project on disease testing at the University of Cape Town.
Any amount helps, and 100% of donations go to the project:
Standard Bank of South Africa Limited
- Beneficiary Reference: iCWild Urban Caracal
- Account name: UCT Donations Account
- Branch name: Rondebosch
- Branch code: 025009
- Branch address: Belmont Road, Rondebosch 7700, Cape Town
- Account number: 071522387
- Account type: Current
- Swift address: SBZAZAJJ
To assist with prompt identification and processing of donations, please include an abbreviated donor name and donation purpose in the bank reference field.
Picture: screenshot from video / Tristan Karakashian