Back in March, Mike Eloff was lucky enough to get footage of a caracal eating a dassie on Table Mountain.
He placed a camera inside the cave that the caracal called home, and the video he captured is fantastic.
You can see that here.
Then, on Monday, trail runner Kyle Kingsley lucked out, getting up and close with a cat during a solo training trail run for Ultra-Trail Cape Town.
He was running along the contour path from King’s Blockhouse to Kloof Corner when he thought he saw a dog. He spoke with News24:
“It did catch me off guard, but it’s not my first encounter with wildlife on Table Mountain. It’s not uncommon to encounter Himalayan tahrs in close proximity to frequently-used trails,” he said.
Kingsely, who is a wildlife photographer, said he had grown accustomed to encountering porcupines and snakes on trails…
Here’s the footage he managed to capture:
In the second video, Kyle gets even closer:
As you can see, the caracal is tagged, and there’s a good reason for that:
Dr Laurel Serieys, who heads up the [Urban Caracal Project] conservation project, told News24 that the organisation had seen the video and that the caracal was part of their project.
“The caracal’s name is Hermes. He was hit by a car few months ago,” she said.
The car accident left Hermes with a broken leg and injuries to his tongue – but he is on the mend.
Serieys was made aware of Hermes when the cat was receiving treatment for his injuries.
She was able to mark and add a radio-collar to Hermes.
“A large part of what our organisation does is to track and research how urbanisation affects the behaviour and the genetics of caracals.”
She said, should people encounter the feline creatures, they should not be scared.
“Quietly enjoy the sighting. You don’t have to worry. They are not as big or as aggressive as people think,” she said.
If you can’t enjoy a caracal sighting, you’re as good as dead inside.
For more info on the Urban Caracal Project and what they do, check out their site.
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