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


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)


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)