A male Caracal was brought in to the Belmont Veterinary Hospital after being hit by a car in Rhodes Drive, Newlands.
A passing motorist who witnessed the accident was brave enough to stop and pick up the stunned animal. The vehicle that struck the cat allegedly drove away without stopping.
Belmont Veterinary Hospital informed the Cape of Good Hope SPCA of the incident the following morning. The animal had been treated by the after-hours veterinarians at Belmont Veterinary Hospital overnight.
Cape of Good Hope SPCA Wildlife Officer, Jon Friedman, was dispatched. “The cat had been placed in a cage, on a drip and was awake but still quite sedated when I arrived to collect it” – Friedman reported.
X-rays were done by the attending veterinarians showed that the animal had sustained mild injuries and there were no signs of internal injury or fractures. The animal however showed definite signs of having sustained a concussion.
The cat was sedated and treated with a sodium lactate drip and given pain medication by veterinarians at Belmont Veterinary Hospital. The animal and its treatment was then transferred to the SPCA’s Wildlife Unit where the drip was continued and the animal was re-assessed by the SPCA’s veterinarian Dr Spamer.
Additional consult was sought from Panthera Africa experienced in dealing with caracals. Panthera Africa provided feeding guidelines and gave advice on managing concussion. In addition, The Urban Caracal Project was contacted to confirm if the animal reflected on their records. The Caracal had not been registered with them before and they requested that we take fur and blood samples for their studies.
After 72 hours of careful monitoring by the Cape of Good Hope SPCA Wildlife Unit’s, Jon Friedman, the cat showed signs of improvement and recovery. “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” – Friedman added.
CapeNature was notified of the incident and provided guidance as to where the animal should best be re-released according to their data triangulated to where the animal was originally found. The male Caracal was released back into the wild on Thursday 5 May 2022.
“”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.” – Friedman concluded
Caracal are found across the African continent through the Middle East, Central Asia, Pakistan and north-western India.