Cuteness overload! Two hikers were treated to an elusive display of wildlife this week, when they crossed paths with a caracal up Table Mountain.
- [Image Source: The South African, Photo Credits: Petra van der Berg & Lars Hurenkamp]
Now this is why you strap your hiking shoes on and make the journey up Table Mountain: Hikers were treated to an amazing sight this week when they came across an extremely rare caracal which had made it to the top.
- Simply stunning! – [Image Source: The South African, Photo Credits: Petra van der Berg & Lars Hurenkamp]
The wild cats are dotted around the area between the mountain and Lion’s Head. They are anti-social creatures and they do not interact with humans. So catching one on camera is a pretty rare event.
The magic of Table Mountain
Petra van der Berg and Lars Hurenkamp were the lucky people behind the lens this time. They crossed paths with this majestic animal as it slinked between rocks at the summit of the mountain. In the background, the stunning city backdrop and Cape Town Stadium can be spotted – maybe he was trying to catch the Ed Sheeran concert?
- From one ginger to another, perhaps? – [Image Source: The South African, Photo Credits: Petra van der Berg & Lars Hurenkamp]
According to the Urban Caracal Project, this particular big cat is a famous face on the hillside. He’s known as “Hermes” and has been spotted more frequently than any other animal of his kind on the popular hiking trail.
What is a caracal?
It is an average-side wild cat, that can grow a metre long, and half a metre tall. They have their largest populations in Namibia and South Africa. But be warned, these guys can have a nasty streak in them.
- Our furry friend has a peek round the corner – [Image Source: The South African, Photo Credits: Petra van der Berg & Lars Hurenkamp]
Recently, caracals roaming the Table Mountain Reserve area have been known to pray on smaller cats. Their cannibalistic feeding habits make them extremely dangerous to animals lower down the food chain. Having said that, caracals are relatively timid towards humans. But caution is best exercised around them.
Last year, there was one confirmed sighting of a caracal up Table Mountain, and another on Lion’s Head. They are very much solitary creatures that do not require interaction and prefer their own company in dry, woodland regions.
(Source: The South African)