Sucking on own trunk. Appears to be done when unsure, apparently for comfort. Infants and calves are typically observed exhibiting this display, but older elephants may also be observed to Trunk-Suck.

References: Kahl & Armstrong 2000; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Ambivalent, Attentive, Foraging & Comfort Technique, Lone & Object Play, Social Play, Vigilance


Context: Social Play (1)

In slo-mo: Two juvenile males are sparring. one bigger than the other. A young female decides that they are being too rough - or perhaps the older male is not part of the family - or perhaps she wants to play. In any case, she intervenes. She Orient-Toward them and Head-Shake and then Look-At the older one while Trunk-Sucking. Then she Advance-Toward them and the older male Backs-Away. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)


Context: Social Play (2)

gf0045 and G7 are Sparring. In the midst of their game they pause and gm0045 Trunk-Sucks and then reaches for branch - Displacement-Feeding - and then returns to Trunk-Sucking before initiating Sparring again. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)


Context: Social Play (3)

There are 3 adolescent/juvenile males. The male on the left with the broken leg, is gm0009. He is the oldest and was a bystander while the other two were Sparring. The smallest male, facing us, appears to become angry and overly aggressive, attacking the male with his back to us, Ramming into him and forcing him back. Then gm0009 seems to intervene and the two pause as if thinking better of the game. The male with his back to us Touch-Self.

In what appears to be an act of Conciliation he touches the smallest male, and the seems to Rump-Present and gm0009 leans into him and touch him Trunk-to-Genitals. The next scene shows the little aggressor, in the middle and the other two in a Reach-Over. Then both step back, gm0009 Trunk-Sucks and the other male Touch-Self again. Hard to see whether gm0009 might have touched the little male's genitals again. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)