Nashville Zoo home to 9 of 36 caracals in the United States

Nashville Zoo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Nashville Zoo welcomed three new caracal kittens in April, and they are growing fast.

The kittens, two males and a female, were born Sunday, April 11, to mother Marula and father Baobab.

According to Heather Schwartz, Director of Veterinary Services at Nashville Zoo, they still have a lot of growing to do, “These guys will be about between 35 and 40 pounds when they’re fully grown.”

The Zoo’s veterinary team IS hand-rearing the kittens, something that takes up a lot of time. “It’s a lot of work. We’re feeding about six times a day,” said Schwartz.

They’ll be in the nursery through the end of June, and zoo guests can see them every day from 9 am to 4 pm at the HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center. Feedings are at 10 am and 2 pm.

Caracals have a large natural range and can be found across Africa, the Middle East, and India. They are also incredibly agile and can jump up to 12 feet in the air!

There aren’t many caracals in North America, with only 36 total at AZA-accredited zoos (Association of Zoos and Aquariums). The Nashville Zoo is home to nine caracals, including these three kittens, and they are excellent zoo ambassadors.

“We’re embarking on our African expansion, and these are just a perfect cat species for us to talk about and tell about all the African species that are coming to the zoo,” Schwartz said.

News 2 is excited to announce this new series called “News 2’s Zoopalooza with Nashville Zoo.” We will be highlighting a new creature each weekend right here on WKRN.com and on-air.

Don’t miss out on our Zoopalooza stories. Download the free News 2 app.

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