The City of Cape Town environment authorities believe they have caught the predator responsible for killing a spate of endangered African penguins in the city's Simon's Town area.

In the past two weeks, a caracal, a medium-sized wild cat, have killed at least 20 penguins and last Friday, City of Cape Town Environmental Officer Arne Purves said the City authorities were concerned about the decline in the population of the penguin species.

The City identified the caracal by installing trap cameras in the area.

Purves said Sunday that the shoreline between Windmill Beach and Froggy Pond, which was closed to the public during the search, had since been reopened.

"We successfully caught a caracal just south of Froggy Pond. The animal was tranquillised in the cage. She was checked by a vet and found to be healthy adult female caracal," added Purves.

"She was then radio-collared and released back into the Table Mountain National Park away from the penguin colony."

Purves said it was in the nature of the caracal to kill penguins and small mammals.

The caracal is wild cat which is found in Africa, the Middle East, Iran and the Indian subcontinent and can reach 50 centimetres in height at the shoulder, and weigh as much as 18 kilogrammes.

Source: Nam News Network