A group of individuals clustering or bunching together a tight defensive circle, typically with the young in the center while the adults face outwards toward the source of the perceived threat, like the spokes of a wheel.
Bunching may be observed in response to any situation that is frightening, potentially dangerous or perceived as a potential threat, whether caused by other elephants, predators (including people) or strange sounds, smells or events. Bunching may precede a Retreat-From, Full-Retreat, Panic-Running, Advance-Toward, Group-Advance, Charge or Group-Charge. Elephants may exhibit a combination of Vigilant and Coalition-Building behaviors such as Listening, Ear-Spreading, Periscope-Trunk, Head-Swinging, Reach-Touch and Rumbling. Temporin may be secreted.
References: Douglas-Hamilton 1972: ch 6; Langbauer et al. 1989; Poole 1996: 144; McComb et al. 2000; McComb et al. 2001; McComb et al. 2000; McComb et al. 2003; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)
This behavioral constellation includes the following behaviors: Chin-Up, Ear-Spreading, Head-Swinging, Reach-Touch, Temporin, Trunk-to-Mouth and occurs in the following context(s): Coalition Building, Vigilance