A shrill, short (less than a second in duration) breathy trumpet emitted when an elephant is startled, suddenly frighted or alarmed. Such trumpeting is more often emitted by younger elephants, and is linked with fearful or apprehensive postures and often associated with running.

For example, an elephant who is startled by the presence of a vehicle, or a calf who suddenly finds itself separated from care-givers, may emit a trumpet, or trumpets, with this quality. A calf or juvenile elephant who is separated from his or her family typically begins to call with a series of Separated-Rumbles. As a lost calf becomes increasingly distressed, the rumbling may escalate to shrill trumpeting or roaring.

References: Poole 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Calf Reassurance & Protection, Conflict & Confrontation


Context: Conflict & Confrontation (2)

An adult female Trunk-Toward something in the vegetation in the lugga. At first it appears to be that she is sniffing the young male across from her, who is looking aggressive and was just involved in some kind of fracas. But then we hear a third elephant give an Alarmed-Trumpet and see her raise her tail, head and ears and Advance-Toward something in the river bed with Ears-Spread. She gives a Head-Dip toward the end as if she is threatening an animal. We would guess that the female on the bank is also interested in whatever animal caused the upset. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (1)

A 4-5 year old male calf is separated from his mother and family. We hear Rumbling - like from family members and the calf Listens, Ears-Stiff, Chin-Up and Tail-Raised - alarmed. The calf begins to run and to give Alarmed-Trumpets. He runs to a family member. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (2)

Angelina has twins a couple of days old. The rest of the family has crossed Enkongo Narok Swamp. Angelina rejected three different crossing points and chose this one. As they are crossing Arora B (a 10 year old female with skewed tusks who is Angelina's sister and aunt to the twins) comes from the other side to help and we see just how deep and sticky the mud is. As they are trying to cross the male twin gets stuck. Amora, Angelina's 9 year old daughter, notices and tries to help him. We can hear soft Husky-Cris from him in distress. Angelina becomes aware that there is a problem and goes to Help first Lifting and then Pulling the infant toward her. We see first its head and then its tail in the melee.

Meanwhile, the female twin is trying to follow her mother and is climbing up the bank where the male twin is stuck. There are several Alarmed-Trumpets as the allomothers, Arora B and Amora and other younger juvenile females panic. There is some Ear-Folding and Pushing as the helpers seem to disagree how to Help and are crowding around the infant. Another adult female, Ambra (half-tail), who is also Angelina's younger sister, arrives to help. The female twin is struggling to climb the bank and gives two Husky-Cries. Angelina turns and Pulls her down off the bank with a splash and leads her away from trouble. The others continue to give Alarm-Trumpets while Angelina escorts the female twin out of the muddy stream. Angelina succeeded in moving the male twin out of the deepest part of the mud, but not far enough and we see him briefly upside-down, his legs in the air, before Amora appears to climb on top of him in her attempt to Help. There is more Alarm-Trumpeting. (Amboseli, Kenya)