Caracal is a Turkish word meaning “black-eared.” Caracals are easily recognizable because of the prominent black fur tufts on their ears that stand out from their sandy colored coats. The caracal, which is sometimes called a desert lynx or African lynx, have long, slender bodies and a tapering tail, which is about a third as long as its body. Caracals reach a body length of 25 to 35 inches and a weight of 30 to 40 pounds.
Caracals are found in Africa, Arabia, Afghanistan, India and the Middle East. Caracals are solitary, nocturnal animals that feed on birds, rodents, monkeys, small mammals and young antelope. Caracals are skillful, agile hunters that are renowned for their ability to leap vertically into the air, up to 10 feet, to bat down a flying bird. In captivity, caracals have lived as long as 17 years.