Touching the tip of the trunk over, on, or in urine or a spot of urine soaked soil presumably for the purpose of assessing physical or reproductive state (either estrus or musth) and/or individual identification. Sniffing of urine may be Male-Female, Male-Male, Female-Male or Female-Female. All age/sex groups engage in Sniff-Urine although males are the more frequent sniffers.

References: Jainudeen et al 1971; Douglas-Hamilton 1972: ch 6; Poole 1996: 137; Rasmussen et al 1982; Rasmussen 1988; Poole & Moss 1989; Rasmussen & Schulte 1998; Rasmussen & Krishnamurthy 2000; Rasmussen & Wittemyer 2002; Poole & Granli 2003; [Test-Urine]. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Advertisement & Attraction, Attentive


Context: Advertisement & Attraction (1)

Matriarch, Selengei, Urinates and Defecates and walks on. A young male comes over and begins to Sniff-Urine and then puts a sample into his mouth and performs Flehmen. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Advertisement & Attraction (2)

A musth male is walking along. As he approaches a pile of dung we see him Trunk-Toward the pile. As the camera zooms in we see that his has focused on a wet patch next to the dung to Test-Urine. Notice the blow out he does. He walks on. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Advertisement & Attraction (3)

Little Male Advances-Toward our vehicle in a threatening manner. He does Trunk-Curl on his right and then left tusk before pausing to Sniff-Urine and then Contemplate. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Advertisement & Attraction (4)

These two males have been engaged in an Escalated-Contest for close to three hours. The male on the left with the broken tusks has had assistance from an older male who intervened on his behalf at least 5 times. He has engaged in very aggressive behavior toward the longer tusked male. Now near the end of the interaction the helping male has departed and the male on the right, who is just larger, is able to assert his dominance.

Minutes before this clip, the broken tusked male Urinated and Defecated at this spot and the longer tusked male has come over to test it. He Sniffs-Urine and Sniffs-Dung and then engages in Trunk-Flick-Down and Flehmen. It is possible that the broken tusked male is coming into musth for the first time, which could explain his persistent aggression - either way the other male is likely testing his sexual state or body condition. (Amboseli, Kenya)