Saturday, February 6, 2010

a new caracal

Yesterday afternoon we had one of those sad/happy moments. A woman came to drop off her caracal, Zinzi, whom she had been keeping as a pet. Unfortunately, she got married and moved to an apartment where she can't keep her. So she brought Zinzi to us--and of course Marieta took her in. She never says no to an animal in need.

Caracals are closely related to the American lynx--big ol' cats around 45 pounds with tufted ears. They can be easily tamed if you have them from their birth, which means people take them in as pets. Never a good idea.

But we have another tame caracal, Tammy, who lives here with her friend, a tame African Wild Cat (irony noted) named Malcolm. We're hoping the three will become friends--in time. It takes awhile for cats to get used to each other, as anyone out there with a housecat knows. I got to spend a long time with Zinzi yesterday evening, though, and she eventually stopped hissing at me and let me pet her.

The thing I find most amazing about caracals is their ability to jump. Although they eat small ground rodents, they also jump up and catch birds in flight. You're doubting me, I can sense it. REALLY. As a matter of fact, I took a film of them jumping to catch their food. We have 7 wild ones and they get fed on the tour every day. Crazy cats.

Paula Devlin, you cat woman you, this one's for you.


  1. BUT - if ever one day that woman would like to change back ZINZI for her husband, don't accept. As you said, "unfortunately she got married". Cornelia

  2. Cool! I have shots like that of crocs in Borneo!