Pushing the head or base of trunk into the back, side, head or trunk of another to move it away or along or to assist it. Pushing comes in different forms and may be rough in aggressive contexts or very gentle in a situation where an elephant is attempting to help, herd or shepherd a family member.
All age/sex groups may be observed to Push in an Aggressive context; while adult, adolescent and juvenile females may Push in a Calf Reassurance & Protection context; and adult females in a Movement Space & Leadership context. Social Play context Pushing is most likely to involve males of all ages.
References: Lee 1986; Moss 1988; Langbauer 2000; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2004; Poole & Granli 2011; O’Connell-Rodwell et al 2011 [including Herding-Push]. (Full reference list)
This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Aggressive, Calf Reassurance & Protection, Courtship, Movement, Space & Leadership, Social Play