Watch: Hermes the caracal survives Cape Town fire

After a dreadful week of Cape Town fires there is something to celebrate!

On Thursday, the Urban Caracal Project posted a heart-warming video of Hermes on their Facebook page. Hermes was spotted drinking water days after a veld fire in which so many wild animals did not survive in Cape Town.

READ: Cape Town fires: SPCA inspectors find charred remains of wild animals

WATCH: HERMES IS SAFE AND UNHARMED

Hermes spotted post-fire! 🐱🔥 We’ve had numerous questions about #HermesTheCaracal since the start of the #CapeTownFire. We can now confirm that he has survived the fire. From our GPS collar data we've learned that generally caracals have an interesting relationship with fire… because they’re so mobile we’ve seen that they are able to move out of burning areas and hunker down in a safe spot. When the fire occurs close to urban areas, they avoid those burned areas, presumably because they would be easily seen by humans (as there is no vegetative cover left). 🌾🌿 But we’ve found that when they are further from urban areas, they actually choose to use burned areas, presumably to find easy prey. Prey often becomes more available either by being flushed out by the flames or because many fynbos species drop seeds post-burn and this attracts rodents. 🌰🐀📹 @leigh_de_necker#ConserveCapeCaracal #urbancaracal #rooikat #caracal #urbanwildlife #urbanecology #fireecology #catscience

Posted by Urban Caracal Project, Cape Town, South Africa on Thursday, April 22, 2021

In the video, Hermes can be seen taking a few sips of water before disappearing from the screen.

“Hermes spotted post-fire!” The Urban Caracal Project wrote on their Facebook page that they’ve received many questions about Hermes from the concerned community.

“We’ve had numerous questions about #HermesTheCaracal since the start of the #CapeTownFire. We can now confirm that he has survived the fire. From our GPS collar data, we’ve learned that generally caracals have an interesting relationship with fire… because they’re so mobile we’ve seen that they are able to move out of burning areas and hunker down in a safe spot.”

The organisation added that caracals avoid burned areas, presumably because they would easily be seen by humans, as there is no vegetative cover left.

“But we’ve found that when they are further from urban areas, they actually choose to use burned areas, presumably to find easy prey. Prey often becomes more available either by being flushed out by the flames or because many fynbos species drop seeds post-burn and this attracts rodents.”

In the past Hermes has been spotted on several popular hiking trails on Table Mountain and Lion’s Head.

SEVERAL WILD ANIMALS DIED IN FIRE

Cape of Good Hope SPCA Inspectors found charred remains of wild animals in the wake of the fire earlier this week. SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham said remains of different species of wild animals were found on Tuesday.

“In the aftermath of the fire, we are now seeing the first signs of life and loss. Searching the areas for any form of life has become heartbreakingly traumatic as the charred remains of the several different species we come across tell the story of immense suffering. Overcome by smoke then turned to charcoal. Those that survived, give us hope.”

Abraham said animals usually return to their area of origin.

“Our past experience has taught us that wild animals will often return to their area’s of origin, where they had burrows or nests and we are looking out for these animals too, whose feet no doubt will burn on the hot ground.”

READ: Hikers stunned by rare sighting of a caracal on Table Mountain [photos]

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Presh JM Reporter

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