Baboons forage at low tide while Caracal lurks nearby

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18 thoughts on “Baboons forage at low tide while Caracal lurks nearby

  1. Oh my goodness, that was close! They were so engrossed in foraging and grooming each other, they would never have spotted the caracal. Fabulous images! Which troop was this Liz?

    1. This was quite the most incredible sighting. I’m guessing it was the Kanonkop troop – down at Black Rock. We often walk in that area, started spotting caracal spoor about a fortnight ago. I think it’s recently moved into the area. It’s a brawny creature – could identify it’s sex, possibly a male. Luckily the baby and juvenile baboons were with adults and hadn’t wandered off.

  2. A wonderful set of photos, and nice to see the baboons foraging from natural sources (in contrast to a previous post). Do the baboons have relatively easy access to non-salty water? Although caracal are in the area is it unusual to see one, I wonder?

    1. Fortunately there are water seeps on the mountain, even though we have drought conditions the mountain water appears to be healthy. It is good to see the natural foraging behaviour and especially the omega-oil rich marine species. Yes, the caracal shy and it’s not often that they show up in broad daylight. The Urban Caracal Project (aligned with the Cape Leopard Trust) have an interesting Facebook page. Their studies show up a surprising number here on the peninsula.

  3. What a beautiful ecosystem, and your intimate captures of the troop behaving naturally are superb. Your comments on the urban caracal project brought to mind recent research in the U.S. regarding the adaptation of coyotes to urban habitats. They’re thriving, and few people other than the biologists who track their movements know how well!

  4. An interesting view of the baboons as they would all love to be. What a serindipitous moment it must have been to be in the right place at the right time to see – and photograph – the caracal! I saw one in the Addo Elephant National Park some time ago, but it shot out of sight before I could even focus 🙂

  5. Lovely images Liz and how amazing to capture the caracal! Like Anne I have also seen one in Addo and got a very blurry shot of it from behind as it sloped away.

    1. It’s a species of the Lynx family – it has a descriptive local name “rooikat” because of it’s burnished tawny colouring. It’s s small carnivore- the males weigh approximately up to 18kgs, but they’re agile and muscular and these tough little hunters find a niche in the urban interface.

    1. Good question, Gilly. The location here where there is thick vegetation bordering the rocky shore would have been ideal. The baboons were spread out and s group of babies and juveniles were playing on the edge close to the thickets it could have been possible to nab a youngster and make off in stealth. Though the males would no doubt would have gone for an attack, the vegetation would have made it difficult. We know that baboons ‘disappear’ but i haven’t heard of anyone witnessing a live hunt. Interestingly we came across a baby bontebok carcass in another part of the park and the kill was attributed to caracal.

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