FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE CARING FOR LUCIUS A ‘CHALLENGING’ CARACAL | MOHOLOHOLO SOUTH AFRICA

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Her favourite face - what a ham!

Her favourite face – what a ham!

LUCIUS….

I had never seen an adult caracal up close and personal. And never thought I ever would. Not so. A short stint at Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre in South Africa provided so many first experiences. Memories for ever. Unbelievable memories.

The videos below will give you a taster for what she was like to deal with!

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Moholoholo had many rescued or hand reared animals on hand to look after. Some were permanently housed there, others in-transit to other homes. One such animal was Lucius. She was only one of our many charges, but was one of the more ‘challenging’ ones.

Lucius Caracal Moholoholo Rehab Centre South Africa 2

Caracals are natural killers. They kill for fun, not just for food, and are very agile cats known for being high jumpers, like servals. Some people have tried to keep them as pets when obtained in a rescue situation perhaps as an orphaned kitten, but this is not really advised.

Lucius Caracal Moholoholo Rehab Centre South Africa 6

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For sure she was the most strikingly beautiful animal in our care, but then I am somewhat biased being a cat lover from way back. But she had attitude. And a lot of it. We were told she had been hand reared, which used to make me feel a little more relaxed. But in her case, I wasn’t so sure!

But to read more about our experience go to my recent video blog post on Travel2Next.com .

A rare calm moment

Someone said to us that if Lucius truly was wild, she would hide herself at the back of the enclosure and no way would you be able to enter it. So the fact that she would bask in the sun at the front of her enclosure, and allow us to enter it to feed her and clean it, would be in keeping with her having been hand reared. But, I would never trust her at all as I reckoned she could shred you in seconds…and wouldn’t think twice about it probably!

The lesson here? Treat every animal with great respect, especially so called hand reared wild animals. They are all wild at heart!

[Photos and video editing by Irene Isaacson].

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