A male caracal has made a full recovery and was released back into the wild on 5 May after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Newlands, Cape Town.
The driver allegedly drove away without checking on the injured feline. Another driver who witnessed the accident acted quickly and took the caracal to Belmont Veterinary Hospital.
The after-hours veterinarians treated the caracal overnight. Aside from the concussion, x-rays thankfully showed only mild injuries and no signs of internal injury. The caracal was sedated and treated with intravenous medication.
Jon Friedman, Cape of Good Hope Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty (SPCA) Wildlife officer, came to collect him. After being transferred to the SPCA, the caracal was re-examined by Dr Spamer.
Panthera Africa, a big cat sanctuary, offered expert advice on treating the concussion and feeding guidelines. Additionally, the Urban Caracal Project, a conservation group, took fur and blood samples from the caracal to be added to its records.
Friedman stated that after 72 hours of monitoring, the caracal began recovering: ‘He began eating well and responding to audio and visual stimulus and was recorded moving around his enclosure at night. After four days it was clear that he was ready for release back into his natural range.’
With its remaining eight lives intact, the caracal was released back into the wild. ‘It is always inspiring to be able to see an injured animal recover enough to be released back into the wild, even more so when it is an animal which we don’t often encounter such as the elusive caracal cat. The fact that caracals are the last big predator species on the Cape Peninsula makes this recovery and release extra special,’ said Friedman.
Pictures: The Cape of Good Hope SPCA