Forcibly taking an infant belonging to another family away from its mother. Elephants may use their trunks, tusks and forefeet to Pull, Lift, Tusk and Shepherd the infant away from its mother and family. Kidnapping events are rare and seem to result from a combination of both attraction toward the infant and aggression toward the family. Kidnapping of infants by adolescent females from other families appears to be driven by a strong allomothering instinct. Conversely aggression directed by older females toward infants from other families or clans is likely a way of exerting dominance. Calves are rarely injured. We have observed both types. Kidnappings by adult females are associated with powerful Rumbling, Roaring and Trumpeting and the formation of Coalitions as adult females in the family struggle to Retrieve the infant from the abductors and they work to keep it.
References: Moss 1992, Poole & Granli 2021. (Full reference list)
This behavioral constellation includes the following behaviors: Lifting, Pulling, Retrieve, Roar, Tusking, Rumble, Trumpet and occurs in the following context(s): Calf Reassurance & Protection