Purrfect new home for caracal siblings at Tasmania Zoo

They may look like larger-than-average house cats, but Tasmania Zoo's newest residents are more at home in forests and savannahs than laying on a living room floor.

Two seven-month-old caracals, sisters named Magic and Mystique, are settling in nicely to their new Tasmanian home after arriving from South Africa.

Tasmania Zoo's Rochelle Penney said caracals could not be found at any other zoo in the country.

The medium-sized wild cats are native to Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, and India. A defining feature is their large, tufted ears.

Caracals at Tasmania Zoo.

Caracals at Tasmania Zoo.

"They're very rare in India and North Africa," she said.

In the wild caracals are usually nocturnal, secretive, and difficult to observe.

They are carnivores and typically prey on small mammals, but Ms Penney said they have been known to bring down animals up to 50kg.

Caracals at Tasmania Zoo.

Caracals at Tasmania Zoo.

Ms Penney said the caracals would be included in a daily big cat feeding which was aimed at spreading different messages to the community.

"They're an exotic cat, but we're hoping to be able to engage people with them and then try and get conservation messages across to the public about feral cats," she said.

"Australia has a feral cat problem with disease and the killing of native species, so we're hoping to be able to do that more through having these two here."

Ms Penney said other zoos across the country were coming onboard with the species, and hoped that in the future there would be an opportunity to send Magic and Mystique to another zoo to breed.

This story Caracals at Tasmania Zoo, an Australian first first appeared on The Examiner.