Rocky the Rooikat

Published: 11 November 2008
We have collared our first male caracal in the Cederberg. We had just mentioned our plans to start this project in our last newsletter, so having begun so soon is great. Willem Titus will be actively monitoring this 15kg fully adult cat. He had already moved over 9km from the point of capture after only 2 days, and another 11km back towards our Matjiesrivier research base (1km away!) on the 3rd day. Having been captured within the territories of monitored leopards, it will be interesting to see how these smaller predators behave in “big cat” country.

Do they specifically avoid areas mostly used by leopards? These factors will help us understand predator dynamics in areas where both exist, providing valuable insight which will help alleviate farmer-predator conflict. Willem is also going to be heavily involved with the CLT children’s environmental program beginning early next year. One of the fantastic activities he will be involved with will be taking children out to track & observe Rocky in this vast Cederberg wilderness.

Rocky was last seen walking up the beautiful Kromrivier valley. Kromrivier has an Anatolian Shepherd dog watching out over their livestock – this is obviously working well, as Rocky has skirted the camp where the sheep and dog were on Sunday, and they have yet to experience livestock losses since the dog has been working there.

Julia Hazel, as part of the Paul Middelmann Memorial Fund – has donated R20 000 towards Willem tracking this caracal.
Thank you for your generous and continued support!

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