Tusking

Poking another elephant with the tip of the tusks. This is a ‘less polite’ form of Pushing another elephant. In Aggressive contexts Tusking can be used with the intention to cause bodily harm, as during Dueling, or to show displeasure or encourage another to move. In a Playful context Tusking is more gentle. All age/sex group use Tusking except infants and young calves, who do not have tusks, or, likewise, tuskless individuals.

References: Douglas-Hamilton 1972: ch 6; Lee 1986; Poole 1987a; Poole 1989a; Kahl & Armstrong 2000; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2004; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Aggressive, Calf Nourishment & Weaning, Social Play

Tusking

Context: Aggressive (1)

As the clip starts, an adolescent female Advances-Toward and Ear-Folds at another adolescent female who Retreats-From. An adolescent male appears to start to follow them, but he is disturbed by the intrusion of a second adolescent male. The first male Orients-Toward the second, tries Tusking him and then lunges at him in a second failed attempt to Tusk him. The second male Orients-Away and Retreats-From. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)

Tusking

Context: Aggressive (2)

Mama Little E, Little E (15 days old) and Lorato are out of sight in some bushes with a couple of young, troublesome males. A loud calf scream is heard and we guess that Little E got frightened or hurt by one of the young males. Mama Little E and perhaps Lorato respond with a Coo rumble. Mama Little E Back-Towards trying to rescue Little E. She looks alarmed and she Trumpets loudly.

Allomother, Lorato, steps forward using a Guiding gesture with her trunk. She is with Little E. Lorato adopts a Suckle-Stance and Touch-Breast as if to show him where to Suckle. Mama Little E comes rushing forward. The male follows and Tusks Mama Little E and then put his Trunk-to-Genitals of, first, Mama Little E and then Lorato. Lorato Touch-Self looking apprehensive. The adolescent male Tusk Mama Little E again and then he runs trunk along his own tusk to Check-Tusk. He contemplates, then scratch ear and then Tusk Mama Little E up the bum a 3rd time. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)

Tusking

Context: Aggressive (1)

Mama Little E, Little E (14 days old) and Lorato are out of sight in some bushes with a couple of young, troublesome males. A loud calf Roar is heard and we guess that Little E got frightened or hurt by one of the young males. Mama Little E and perhaps Lorato respond with a Coo-Rumble. Mama Little E Backs-Toward the others trying to rescue Little E. She looks alarmed and she gives a loud Protest-Trumpet.

Allomother, Lorato, steps forward using a Guiding gesture with her trunk. She is with Little E. Lorato adopts a Suckle-Stance and Touch-Breast as if to show him where to Suckle. Mama Little E comes rushing forward. The male follows and Tusks Mama Little E and then put his Trunk-to-Genitals of, first, Mama Little E and then Lorato. Lorato Touch-Self looking apprehensive. The adolescent male Tusk Mama Little E again and then he runs trunk along his own tusk to Check-Tusk. He contemplates, then scratch ear and then Tusk Mama Little E up the bum a 3rd time. (Amboseli, Kenya)

Tusking

Context: Calf Nourishment & Weaning (1)

Nalakite is carrying and eating a branch. Her two sons aged 6 and 10 are begging for some of it. She drops a bit of stick in an act of Food-Sharing. He doesn't notice it until later and reaches into her mouth to Solicit-Food. Meanwhile her 10 year old Social-Rubs against her and, simultaneously with the 6 year old Solicit-Food by reaching into her mouth begging for her stick. She pulls away and Grumble-Rumbles at them in a complaining tone. She purposefully removes another bit of the stick and drops it on the ground, in another act of Food-Sharing, for the 10 year old, and walks on.

Meanwhile, the 6 year male has realised that there is a stick on the ground, but he can't reach it with her legs in the way. She continues to walk forward and he emits a Grumble-Rumble. The six year old still searches the ground blocking his mother's way and then, in his frustration, jabs her with his tusk - the Tusking causing her leg to buckle! She redirects-aggression swinging her trunk toward the 10 year old, who anticipating trouble emits a grumble-rumble. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)

Tusking

Context: Calf Nourishment & Weaning (2)

Grumpy Grandma (f0412) is browsing on a bush. Her adolescent daughter appeases her by reach Trunk-to-Mouth in a Conciliatory gesture. Grumpy Grandma responds by Tusking her away, but simultaneously reaching Trunk-to-Mouth also in a Conciliatory gesture. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)

Tusking

Context: Social Play (1)

Three male calves have been having a game of Climb-Upon. When they get up one of the males Tusks the other. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)

Tusking

Context: Social Play (2)

Three male calves (between the ages of 18 months to 4 years old) from Big Mama's family are at play. A 2 year old male lies down and permits the other two to Climb-Upon. An 18 month old male calf arrives first and begins to climb on him. The older male walks over, bends down and Tusks the 2 year old calf in his face and then lies down on top of him. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)

Tusking

Context: Social Play (3)

Two adolescent males are playing. The one behind is Pushing and Tusking the one in front. The male in front Kicks-Back at the one behind. The male in front Runs-Away while the male behind Run-After. Catching him, the pursuer Tusks him several times and forces him down, whereupon he pins him down by Stepping-On his leg! He Reaches-Over as if to mount the trapped male, but he manages to get up and away. The game begins again. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)

Tusking

Context: Social Play (4)

Two adolescent males at play, one Runs-After the other who Runs-Away. The pursuer Grasps-Tail of the other and Tusks him as they run. The fleeing male Tail-Swats him. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)

Tusking

Context: Social Play (5)

Young males are Sparring. It has rained in the night and one of them slips and falls as another Tusks him in the rear. We hear the fallen male give a V8-Rumble but the audio is poor. He gets up and they continue to play. (Amboseli, Kenya)

Tusking

Context: Social Play (6)

Families of elephants are leaving a pool where they have been Swimming and playing for a long while. As they reach the bank they continue to engage in social play. Some Clamber out to follow their mothers. A juvenile female Tusks another juvenile female and then reaches Trunk-to-Genitals and Grasps-Tail, we believe in an act of Conciliation. (Amboseli, Kenya)