There’s a new resident of the Kansas City Zoo and he’s quite the looker! Meet our newest cat species, a caracal named Nandi (Nan-dee). See him exploring his new digs near the lion exhibit.
A caracal is a cat species found in the dry woodlands, scrublands, and savannas of Africa, Southwest Asia and the Middle East. Black ear tufts and white eye markings make these cats very distinguished in appearance but don’t be fooled: they have big attitudes to match. Caracals are nocturnal, elusive and usually solitary. These fashionable felines are consummate predators of birds and lizards but have also been known to prey on animals two to three times their own size! They are famous for their athletic leaping to catch birds in midair.
Nandi was born at the Oregon Zoo in October of 2015. Not quite a year old, he is still pretty small but will eventually grow to weigh around 30 to 40 pounds. When you see Nandi, take a look at his large, distinctive ears: each ear can move independently and is controlled by 20 different muscles! The long tufts of hair at the tips are also believed to enhance hearing by directing sound into the ears, which helps this cat hear even the smallest movements of its prey.
You can find Nandi next to the lion exhibit in Africa.