Kicking back with the hind legs to push another individual or object away. This action may be seen in a number of contexts. For example: A mother to a begging calf she is trying to wean or to one who is repeatedly Soliciting-Food; an elephant kicking back at an object behind it that it is playing with; an estrus female trying to dislodge a Mounted male; an elephant trying to force away an elephant he or she feel is too close behind.
During play this action may be repeated for long periods as the elephant plays with an object of interest. Very often these are man-made objects (e.g. paper bag, flip-canister, flip-flop, tin can, piece of cloth) that an elephant finds in his environment, but a log or stick may make any equally good, though perhaps not so engaging ‘toy’. Youngsters may Queue-Up for a chance to play with such an object. Kick-Back occurs in all age/sex groups except in the context of Calf Nourishment and Weaning when it is only exhibited by adult females.
References: Douglas-Hamilton 1972: 114; Lee 1987; Kahl & Armstrong 2000; Moss 1988; Poole 1996: 151; Poole 1998; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2004, Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)
This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Calf Nourishment & Weaning, Calf Reassurance & Protection, Courtship, Lone & Object Play, Movement, Space & Leadership, Social Play