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  • Writer's pictureNashville Socialite

Three Caracal Kittens Born at Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is happy to announce the birth of three caracal kittens on April 11, 2021. The two males and one female were born to Marula (mother) and Baobab (father), one of two pairs of caracals living in a behind-the-scenes area of the Zoo. The kittens are being hand-reared by the Zoo's veterinary and carnivore teams for eventual close-up experiences with zoo visitors. Guests can see the newborns at the HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Feeding will be at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

"These kittens will become ambassador animals for their species so it's important to acclimate them to human care early," said Heather Schwartz, Director of Veterinary Services for Nashville Zoo. "Eventually, they will travel to another zoo to help educate guests about their species, their habitats, and the importance of protecting their environments."

This is the third litter of caracal kittens born at Nashville Zoo since the arrival of two pairs of adults in early 2020. With these three, there are currently 36 caracals in AZA-accredited zoos (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) with nine of those at Nashville Zoo. Two of Nashville's caracals (Zain & Samir) can be seen on the Zoo's guest pathways or in the Zoo's Wild Works Animal Shows.

Caracals (Caracal caracal) are native across Africa and the Middle East to India. The most noticeable feature of this species is their black ear tufts. Caracals are extremely agile and can jump nine feet straight up to catch flying birds. While caracals are not considered endangered, their habitats are threatened by human development.

About Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is a nonprofit organization and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. The Zoo is actively engaged in conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs, and education initiatives around the globe as well as in our own backyard. With support from the Nashville community, donors, and sponsors including our Experience Partners: Coca-Cola Consolidated and Middle Tennessee Honda Dealers, the Zoo is a top Nashville attraction and is consistently voted one of the best places to visit by TripAdvisor, Yelp, and a host of local and national review sites. Nashville Zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Pike. For more information about Nashville Zoo, visit

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