About the Author

Robert Ball


Robbie developed a passion for the African bush from many visits to his family’s small holding in a greater conservancy just outside Johannesburg. Living in the big city his whole life, he always found refuge in the outdoors and has grown to appreciate ...

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on How and Why Predators Scent Mark

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Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Great information, Robert! Quite fascinating and intricate.

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Hello Patrick, I appreciate a lot this topic as I am an ethologist myself… how alike all big and small cats are in their scent-marking habits! The pictures are gorgeous, it’s always wonderful to be updated about these majestic animals, I look forward to hearing more about the Mashaba female, it’s always nice to see the legendary Majingilane males images

Cyndy Beardsley
Digital Ranger

Thank you for posting – so interesting – my cat does that flehmen grimace some times and I never knew what it was about.

William Paynter
Senior Digital Ranger

Communication, one of the keys to life, thanks Robert.

Irene Henkes
Digital Tracker

Indeed she is!!

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Robbie, Thanks for sharing this educational piece. You did a great job of explaining scent-marking in a way that makes sense. It is something we have seen (and smelled) many times on game drives and we are glad you put some of our questions to rest!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Fantastic informational report Robert. This was the most concise explanation of predator scent marking I’ve read to date. Thank you!

Camille Koertner
Senior Digital Ranger

Robbie. As a now retired dental hygienist I found this blog very interesting especially considering that scent marking processing is so oral. I knew of the Flehmen Grimace of course, but had no idea of the Organ of Jacobson! And then to learn that all of this analyzing can last for weeks. I must add that the Majingilane lion pictured is missing his maxillary right central incisor!!! Lol

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Very interesting article and beautiful photos. Thanks!

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

An amazing story Robert and thanks for giving us more facts about the animals that scent mark and how they do it. It is truly interesting to see them do this and to note how they respond to the scent that have picked up and to see how they respond. Beautiful foto’s and it is amazing how different animals react to new scent markings.

Bob and Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

Very interesting subject Robert. We look forward to more such unusual discussions that help us understand the animal world!

Johanna Browne
Senior Digital Ranger

Good blog piece. I wasn’t aware that cats have scent glands between their toes! I know they ‘scratch’ in order to stretch their muscles so this was cool information. As far as communication, you have one of the best animal communicators there in S.A. Yes, humans can communicate with animals and if your childhood dream is still desired you might invite Anna Breytenbach to Londolozi or read other communicators books such as Wynter Worsthorne (SA) Penelope Smith, Sonja Fitzpatrick or books.

Karen Taylor

Thank you for such an informative article, so interesting.

Leonie De Young
Digital Tracker

A really interesting blog Robert – learned a lot from reading it. Thanks for sharing with us. Mother Nature is really very interesting indeed.

Wendy Macnicol
Digital Tracker

Very interesting facts here about message sending among animals, Robbie. It is quite amazing the lengths they go to do this. Thank you for the info. Wendy M

Cally Staniland
Master Tracker

Such an interesting article Robert…I was aware of some of the facts but certainly didn’t know that they can actually tell who’s who and what the others plans are, from these scent markings. Amazing. Thanks ‼️❤️

Carly M
Senior Digital Ranger


Barbara Wallace

Intriguing information!! Thank you very much.

Lisa Antell
Digital Tracker

The more you observe and understand the various forms of animal communication, the more fascinating it is!!

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