The caracal (Caracal caracal) is a medium-sized wild cat native to Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and India. It is characterised by a robust build, long legs, a short face, long tufted ears, and long canine teeth. Its coat is uniformly reddish tan or sandy, while the ventral parts are lighter with small reddish markings. It reaches 40–50 cm (16–20 in) at the shoulder and weighs 8–18 kg (18–40 lb). It was first scientifically described by German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1776. Three subspecies are recognised since 2017.
Typically nocturnal, the caracal is highly secretive and difficult to observe. It is territorial, and lives mainly alone or in pairs. The caracal is a carnivore that typically preys upon small mammals, birds, and rodents. It can leap higher than 4 m (12 ft) and catch birds in midair. It stalks its prey until it is within 5 m (16 ft) of it, after which it runs it down, the prey being killed by a bite to the throat or to the back of the neck. Both sexes become sexually mature by the time they are one year old and breed throughout the year. Gestation lasts between two and three months, resulting in a litter of one to six kittens. Juveniles leave their mothers at the age of nine to ten months, though a few females stay back with their mothers. The average lifespan of captive caracals is nearly 16 years.
Caracals have been tamed and used for hunting since the time of ancient Egypt.
We, even We, created them, and strengthened their frame. And when We will, We can replace them, bringing others like them in their stead. [76:28]
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Our Lord, give unto us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.