Caracal behind penguin killings

2016-07-12 06:05

The cat’s out the bag as to who is killing Simon’s Town penguins.

Following a spate of penguin fatalities over the last two weeks, the City of Cape Town and Table Mountain National Park identified a large caracal as the perpetrator.

The City of Cape Town has since successfully captured and relocated the caracal that was responsible for the recent spate killings.

Initial evidence suggested the presence of one or more caracals in the area and as such, the City installed trap cameras to confirm this assumption. Images of the predator were finally captured on camera, confirming the presence of a large caracal.

Natural predation by an indigenous animal is considered part of the natural patterns and processes in the ecosystem and the prey is not favoured above the predator, explains Mayco member for energy, environmental and spatial planning, Johan van der Merwe.

“However, when a particular predator starts changing normal predation behaviour and kills multiple individuals – that is more than what is required for feeding – there is cause for concern. More so if the prey species is listed as endangered and the number and frequency of the kills becomes unsustainable in the population. The management authorities are then placed in a difficult position and need to consider the most viable and best option for the ecosystem as a whole.”

The female caracal was successfully trapped on Friday 8 July, Van der Merwe says. The animal was tranquilised in the cage and examined by a local veterinarian. It was found to be a healthy adult female and the veterinarian confirmed that the caracal was not lactating. The cat, which was fitted with a tracking collar, was transported back to her original roaming territory in the Table Mountain National Park and released. It has been confirmed that the cat has settled down and its movements will be monitored.

V To learn more about caracals and their behaviour on the peninsula, visit

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.