Game Warden

Show us your servals, caracals and other small cats...

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so many wonderful images here I feel a bit embarrassed posting my only recent Serval sighting.

A fleeting glimpse on our way back to camp in Khwai Concession, Okavango Delta.

serval.jpg

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Posted (edited)

After 36 years of travelling to Sth/East Africa, achieving any sort of quality image of a Caracal (apart from long distance blurry streaks biggrin3.gif) has always been very high on my list and one reason why I chose to visit Namiri Plains, an area up until 3.5 years ago solely devoted to cheetah research and off limits to the public.
If you are prepared to put in the hours there is a "possibility" to sight this highly skittish cat here.
So on my first afternoon and before I had unpacked, we heard via a transfer guide who witnessed a "small yellow cat" (even he wasn't sure exactly what it was redface3.gif) single handedly bringing down an adult Thompsons Gazelle Whoa!.png, WOW!!
Dropping everything, I raced off to the location some 20 mins away, fortunately positioned close to the road, we were fortunate that she was still on the kill and due to her protective nature, she wasn't going to relinquish her prize for anyone!
We garnered her confidence with a polepole approach and being on an incline switched off the engine and gradually closed the distance by ever so slowly rolling our vehicle closer, by the end of the shoot we were within 10 feet of her, just amazing how trusting she was of us, I'd never seen anything like it and my guide Partena's best ever Caracal encounter by a country mile.
To see a Caracal is special enough, but one that was on a kill and such a spectacular prize at that was pure freakish luck and timing. As told to us, "she was hiding in a thicket and pounced on the Thommie that never knew what hit it", such an accomplished and skilled feat! As dusk grew closer she left the kill, we then approached and confirmed that it was indeed hers by the claw marks on it's back and bite marks around her throat, backing away allowed a solo Hyena in to snatch the prize and could see that the gazelle was pregnant evidenced by a advanced fetus. What an afternoon, and to think that this was just the first of 4 Caracal sightings during my 2 weeks here.
Approaching 2.00pm, light was far from optimal, and with the kill tucked away in heavy grass/cover it was challenging to get a clear view. I do like her beautiful and almost turquoise eyes look of contempt here.biggrin3.gif

 

 

Wild caracal, 36 years in the making.

Nikon D850
Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8E FL VR + 1.4tc
1/1250s
f/7
ISO640@ 240mm.

 

D85_7922a-XL.jpg

 

 

 

In total contrast to the image above, here she grants  me a cheerful cheeky grin.

 

Nikon D850
Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8E FL VR + 1.4tc
1/1250s
f/7
ISO750@ 240mm.

 

D85_7930a-XL.jpg

 

 

 

 

We're @ 6.00pm now and she has moved off her prize.

 

Nikon D850
Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8E FL VR + 1.4tc
1/1250s
f/5.6
ISO1800@ 280mm.

 

D85_8183-XL.jpg

 

 

 

 

Nikon D850
Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8E FL VR + 1.4tc
1/1000s
f/5.6
ISO2800@ 280mm.

 

D85_8227-XL.jpg

 

 

 

 

Nikon D850
Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8E FL VR + 1.4tc
1/1000s
f/5.6
ISO2200@ 280mm.

 

D85_8245-XL.jpg

 

 

 

 

Nikon D850
Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8E FL VR + 1.4tc
1/1000s
f/5.6
ISO2500@ 280mm.

 

D85_8260-XL.jpg

 

 

Cheers

Marc

 

 

Edited by africaaddict
spelling error
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A wonderful sighting and beautiful photos. Worth the wait I think @africaaddict

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@africaaddict  Holy cow- I am awe struck.....what incredible photos....wow.....wow.....wow....

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@africaaddict Wow wow wow! Those are gorgeous! I think the caracal is the African animal I'd most like to see that I haven't yet seen - might have to make a trip to Namiri Plains, didn't know if was known for seeing them! when were you there?

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just that caracal on the kill would have made the trip but you had four sightings! totally jealous. 

 

awesome photos of one of the most beautiful small wild cats in the world! 

 

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Well, @africaaddict, you certainly made the best possible use of the opportunity!

 

Magnificent.

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What an amazing sighting! I would never imagined that a caracal would tackle an adult Thompsons Gazelle.

 

Superb photos @africaaddict.

 

I've waited longer than 36 years but now I have renewed hope that maybe one day......?!

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