The caracal cat, previously known as the Egyptian, Persian and African lynx. This ferocious cat is actually no longer considered part of the lynx family. It is actually more closely related to the serval and African golden cat. It is one of the largest and quickest of the small cats and luckily is listed as ‘Least Concern’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
It has a long slender body and characteristic black wisps on it’s ears, giving it it’s name Caracal, which is derived from the Turkish word ‘karakulak’ meaning ‘black ear’.
I went to the zoo recently and managed to get some lovely pictures of the rare Amur tiger. They are the largest ‘felid’ or big cat to ever exist and have characteristically fluffier cheeks than other species of tigers.
I managed to arrive just before feeding time and they came really close to the sides of the enclosure to say hello! So beautiful!
I also caught a glimpse of some Barbary lions, which are unfortunately extinct in the wild :-( they are regarded as the biggest species of lion and were used by the Romans to fight against gladiators in the arena. I was very lucky to see this lion and got a lovely picture of a male chilling out on a hill.
Also finally I stumbled across a lovely snow leopard! Native to mountainous regions of the Himalayas it is a very rare luxury to see these animals up close.
Please don’t forget that most zoo’s and wildlife parks rely heavily on donations from the public so if you’re thinking of giving to an animal charity, perhaps donate to your local zoo instead. They do a lot of important conservation work and often kick start breeding programmes for animals extinct in the wild.
This Month in Photo of the Day: National Geographic Magazine Features
Wild ocelots are gone from all U.S. states except Texas, driven out by human development. The elusive cats still roam the wilds of Central and South America, but there’s little reliable data on their true numbers.