Directing aggression toward an object or individual that is irrelevant to the current situation. When the tendency to attack is thwarted, for some reason (e.g. fear of opponent), the individual may redirect his/her aggression to some other animal or object, such as vegetation. This may involve trashing bushes, trees or throwing sticks, grass, or threatening or attacking other, lesser elephants or smaller animals, or humans in the vicinity.

References: Sanderson 1907; Spinage 1994; Deraniyagala 1955; Eisenberg & Lockhart 1972; Krishnan 1972; McKay 1973; Ben-Shahar 1999; Lahiri-Choudhury 1999; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavioral constellation includes the following behaviors: Advance-Toward, Bush-Bashing, Forward-Trunk-Swing, Pushing, Throw-Debris, Tusking and occurs in the following context(s): Aggressive


Context: Aggressive (1)

t is hard to see what happens, but we hear a young male Roar and then Valente, of the Mabenzi family, Advances-Toward him while Ear-Folding; he Runs-Away. After seeing off the young male Valente turns her sights on us. The entire family follows her lead and they begin a Group-Advance on us in an act of Redirected-Aggression. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)


Context: Conflict & Confrontation (1)

Little E is 16 days old. His family is trying to get across a rocky river bed. Mama Little E is walking slowly and seems to use her Trunk to check out the safety of the substrate. Little E is Tail-Raising in response to a new, frightening situation. Mama Little E slips and falls landing on Little E who Roars.

Someone snorts and others are Rumbling and Tail-Raising. Latino (right) whirls around and Redirects-Aggression, Standing-Tall, Kicking-Dust and Foot-Scuffing. She and others Head-Dip-Touch-Ground as they check to see what the problem was - checking out the rocks as if to see what went wrong. Lorato and Mama Little E touch Little E. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Nourishment & Weaning (1)

Nalakite is carrying and eating a branch. Her two sons aged 6 and 10 are walking beside her. The 6 year old is walking away until he gets a sniff of her stick and comes back looking on the ground; 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 and 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 drop it on the ground, in another act of Food-Sharing, for the 10 year old, and walks on.

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 her 10 year old, who anticipating trouble emits a Grumble-Rumble.

Nalakite walks on but when the 6 year old is behind her she Kicks-Back. He Grumble-Rumbles and comes around behind her to the other side whereupon he Solicit-Food once more by reaching his trunk so that he can grab her branch. She Head-Swipes him away and again he Grumble-Rumbles. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)