Caracal – Desert Lynx

I am never surprised that you can learn something new. Last week I was at Exmoor Zoo and discovered a large cat, the caracal. I didn’t know such big cats existed.


The caracal (Caracal caracal), also known as the desert lynx, is a wild cat widely distributed across Africa, central Asia, and southwest Asia into India. In 2002, the IUCN listed the caracal as Least Concern, as it is widespread and relatively common. The felid is considered threatened in North Africa, and rare in the central Asian republics and India.

You don’t usually see them in zoos in the UK as they are not considered endangered. They are unusual in their appearance with their large ears.

I am no animal expert, nor even have a real interest, but do think I know what most of the big cats are, well I have used Mac OS X for the last few years. Having never heard of the caracal it makes you realise how diverse our planet is and how much there is to learn about it.