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Video: Lion Flehmen Grimace

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Eastern Cape Safari Lion Flehmen Grimace

A Kariega guest took this video a few years ago and it shows an interesting behaviour by the male lion called a flehmen grimace or flehmen response. The Kariega field guide explains that the lion is bearing his teeth and inhaling through his mouth to allow the pheromones and other scents in the female lion’s urine to reach his Jacobson's organ. This organ is at the base of the lion’s nasal cavity and enables him to determine the reproductive status of the female.

A wide range of mammals exhibits this behaviour. It is often seen in domestic cats and horses and in Africa you will see rhino’s, giraffes, zebras and elephants exhibiting the flehmen grimace.

The photo was captured by Kariega guest Anja Kirsi-Laaninen‎ and uploaded to our Kariega Facebook page.

If you have photos from your stay at Kariega please post them onto our Facebook wall to enter our photographic competition. You can also post your videos on Facebook or add the word Kariega to your video title when you upload to YouTube. You could win a two-night stay for two people at Kariega River Lodge. The competition closes on 30 April 2015.