Friday, December 6, 2013

Caracal trapped in wild weed rescued by Gujarat forest department.

 Himanshu Kaushik,TNN | Nov 30, 2013, 02.59 PM IST

AHMEDABAD: The forest department rescued a female caracal (a wild cat known for its reclusive behaviour) that had got trapped in gando baval weeds in Jatavira Village of Nakhatrana taluka in Kutch district on November 25. This is perhaps the first instance of a caracal being rescued after it got stuck in wild weed.

Caracals usually venture out of their lair at night. There are around 50 of them in the state and are found only in Kutch. One of these wild cats was last spotted by the officers of the Gujarat forest department in 2006. The Conservator of Forests DK Sharma said that the rescued caracal was female and around three years of age.

When the rescued animal was found on November 25, it had injuries on its front left feet. "On getting information about it, officials rushed to the spot. After clearing the bushes, the caracal was brought to Nakhatrana for veterinary care. The services of two expert veterinary doctors were taken to cure the animal," said Sharma. He further said that the animal had got stuck in thick thorny dry bushes while trying to capture a prey.

Deputy Conservator of Forests Pravinsinh Vihol said that the species is considered rare in India. It has also been listed in annexure-I of the CITES ('Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora', also known as the Washington Convention) and is also a schedule-I animal under the Wildlife Protect Act.

According to Dr Naveen Pandey, veterinarian of the Corbett Foundation who treated the rescued animal, said the paw of the caracal's left forelimb, had mild abrasion between the second and third fingers of the toe, but there were no external injuries anywhere on the body.

Vivol said the animal was released in the same area from where it was rescued after the swelling on its left foot lessened, its overall health improved and the wild cat showed no signs of pain.

The Caracal belongs to the cat family and is highly secretive and shy animal. It is a protected species protected species under Wildlife Protection Act. The Caracal is widely distributed across Africa, central Asia and southwest Asia, but in India the species is believed to be surviving in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh region only.


Scientific Name: Caracal caracal

Physical Characteristics: Caracals are flat-headed and brownish-red in colour, with tasseled black ears.


Head & body: 60-75 cm.

Tail: 22-30 cm.

Height at Shoulder: 40-50 cm.


Male up to 17 kg

Females up to 14 kg

Lifespan: 17 years

Characteristics: While the cheetah is the fastest animal on earth, the caracal is undoubtedly the quickest. Hissing is their means of communication.

FOOD: Caracals are a little more flexible in their diet. They feed on a variety of rodents, lizards, ground birds and even small antelope They have been recorded as eating grass, vegetables and fruits in the wild.

NAME: The name "caracal" comes from the Turkish word, 'karakal', which means "black ear."

Reproduction: Caracals can reproduce round the year. They reach sexual maturity in less than 2 years. First litter have been recorded at 18 months of age. The gestation period is 69-79 days. Litter sizes vary from 1-6 with an average of 2-3.

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