Picking up and carrying a bone in the trunk. Elephants are known to show intense interest in, pick up and carry the bones and tusks of conspecifics. Although of lesser interest, they will occasionally pick up and carry the bones of other species. 

References: Douglas-Hamilton & Douglas-Hamilton 1975, Goldenberg & Wittemyer 2019, McComb et al 2006, Poole 1996. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Death, Lone & Object Play


Context: Death (1)

A female pauses and then reaches out to pick up a bone of another species (we believe). She holds it and then drops it as another elephant approaches from behind. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Death (2)

In this short video clip from Elephant Aware, two adolescent males are examining the leg bone of another male who was about their age. One of the males sniffs the bone reaching his Trunk-Toward-Carcass. The other male examines it with his trunk and forefoot (Touch-Carcass-with-Foot, Touch-Carcass-with-Trunk lifts and carries the bone (Carry-Bone). (Maasai Mara, Kenya)