Using vigorous kicking or swinging movements of the forelegs to splash mud or water onto the body, or using the trunk to scoop up mud or water and throw and blow it onto the body. Kicking is used to splash muddy water onto the underside of the body, while the trunk is used to direct mud or water to specific locations. Although this is a behavior that is engaged in by all age/sex groups, ostensibly to keep cool and/or protect against biting insects, it is a skill that must be learned and perfected.
As far as we are aware, Mud-Splashing is not observed among young infants. Among musth males Mud-Splashing may be unusually vigorous and demonstrative and is associated with numerous musth behaviors, such as Trunk-Curling, Ear-Waving, Tusk-Ground, Musth-Rumbling and is part of a musth display.
References: Poole & Granli 2021. (Full reference list)
This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Maintenance