Walking with an obvious bouncing swagger; the head moves up and down and the trunk swings from side to side more than in a normal walk; the front legs appear to bend more. Can be a sign of bravado. May be seen when an elephant makes a sudden decision to do something, for instance entering into an ongoing interaction. Following a bout of Contemplation - appears to be an outward reflection of an elephant’s thoughts or decision-making. A similar bouncing gait is seen as elephant walk down a slope.

References: Buss & Estes 1971; Hendrichs 1971; Douglas-Hamilton 1972: ch 6; Poole 1987a; Moss 1988; Moss 1992; Balfour & Balfour 1997; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2011 [Head-Nodding]. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Attentive, Conflict & Confrontation