Caracal Capture

Remember the Caracal (Caracal caracal) that was eating penguins?

Good news from the Urban Caracal Project this morning – they think that they have caught it:


This is Disa – a “healthy adult female” – who will now be radio-collared and relocated some distance away from Boulders Beach.

Yes, it’s a bit dark, but isn’t she beautiful? Look at that shiny coat – that’s the Omega 3 oils from all those penguins she’s been eating. There’s a lesson here for all of us, and it’s only a matter of time until someone (Tim Noakes) launches the LCHP (Low Carbohydrate, High Penguin) Diet cookbook.

After all, extensive studies in caracal populations (n=1) have shown the obvious benefits of this eating plan.

Welcome to Cape Town, Africa

No, we don’t have lions roaming the CBD or elephants in our back gardens (most of the time) like what they do up North, but Cape Town still likes to remind us from time to time that it is still officially in Africa.

Like when a caracal is killing penguins just down the road, for example.
Wouldn’t get that in the Kruger National Park, now would you?

A spate of penguin fatalities has occurred in Simon’s Town over the past two weeks. The City has identified the predator by installing trap cameras in the area. The images confirmed the presence of a large caracal.

Caracals are great. They look really cool and that is primarily because actually, they are really cool.
Sadly though, our African penguins are endangered (although the caracal probably isn’t aware of that fact), and so this penguin killing has got to stop.

In its efforts to protect the penguins, while at the same time managing the sensitive ecosystem as carefully as possible, the City will be closing off a portion of the Simon’s Town shoreline to members of the public from 13:00 today 8 July 2016 until further notice.

The area which will be closed off stretches from Windmill Beach to Froggy Pond in Simons Town. The area will be marked off with tape and City Law Enforcement will be monitoring the site to ensure that no member of the public accesses the area during this time.

‘We ask that members of the public exercise patience during this time. The City hopes to trap the caracal, collar the animal with a radio tracking device and to move it away from the penguin colony, but still within its current home range. Cordoning off the area will also help us to deploy other passive mitigation measures to discourage the return of the caracal to the Burghers Walk to Froggy Pond area,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe.

Epic. Can you imagine Johan getting home this evening?

“Oh, hello Johan dear, how was work today?”
“Actually pretty good, thanks. I closed off a section of local shoreline to prevent a large predatory wildcat from eating any more loveable and endangered seabirds. You?”
“We… well, we had a 2 hour meeting about July’s sales targets. And there were some quite nice biscuits on the trolley.”

Johan wins again. Despite only having lemon creams with his coffee.

More local caracal news as and when we get it.

Of fish

Not a sponsored post, just another 6000 Recommends…

And today I’m recommending the Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront. We were down there yesterday, and no, despite the rain, it really wasn’t as busy as you think it was. It’s not like it was our first time, we’re members and we go down there maybe every other month. But it’s great value and the kids love it. Every single time.

It helps that we spend as much time as we can exploring the rock pools around Agulhas and it’s a real bonus to be able to tie the two in together.


Bonus for me this time around (aside from the smiles on the faces of my loved ones, obviously) was this Rockhopper penguin, which had set up his… her… its nest right next to the fence in the penguin enclosure.


Not wanting to intrude, I carefully slipped the very end of my phone (just the tip) against the bamboo fencing poles and took this from all of 20cm away.

If anyone knows how to remove beak marks from a Sony Xperia T, I’d be obliged if you could get in touch.

Anyway, I suspect that I’m teaching Cape Town parents to suck eggs when it comes to suggesting the Aquarium as a good spot to take your kids. But just in case you were hesitating, go and do it.