An obviously attentive adult or adolescent female caring for a newborn, demonstratively swinging her trunk back to touch, or near touch, her breasts or the space between them. This behavior is observed in the context of a newborn who is still exploring and discovering where to Suckle, and who is hovering near the front legs of the actor and would be able to see the trunk movement. The swinging movement may be repeated and the mother or allomother may also use her trunk to physically direct the infant to her breast, by lifting its head. This clear movement is not the same as Scratch-with-Trunk, or Touch-Self, in which the elephant casually scratches, or appears to scratch, an itch. We propose that the mother or allomother is purposefully directing the newborn where to Suckle.
References: Poole & Granli 2021. (Full reference list)
This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Birth, Calf Nourishment & Weaning