An elephant taking exaggerated sideways steps, to manoeuvre rapidly into a new position that is immediately to the elephant’s left or right. This movement is classically seen by adult males (usually in musth) during Duelling or Escalated-Contests where a male tries to manoeuvre himself into a better position. It may similarly be observed among males during Sparring.

Further, Sashaying may be observed among adult, adolescent and juvenile females as members of a family jockey for a better position during Affiliative behavior such as a Bonding-Ceremony, or by an adult female - or male - during Attacking or Mobbing behavior.

References: Poole & Granli 2021. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Affiliative, Aggressive, Attacking & Mobbing, Conflict & Confrontation, Social Play


Context: Affiliative (1)

Little E is 8 days old. He is under the feet of his mother and allomothers on the left. Latino has been off somewhere else and suddenly returns. She Sashays in from the bushes Rapid-Ear-Flapping and Greeting-Rumbling as she approaches the others. Lorato and another display Tail-Raising and Lorato Backs-Toward Latino. Lorato and Grumpy Grandma (in the foreground) also display Rapid-Ear-Flapping. The second section is a close-up of the same behavior. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Affiliative (2)

Qaskasi has just been seen off by matriarch Qoral and wants to move to the other side of the group next to her mother. The group is very close to our vehicle, so to keep us in view she Sashays across in front of us and then tries to squeeze in behind her mother, perhaps trying to access Qoral's infant from the other side. Her mother Kicks-Back at her. (Amboseli, Kenya)