An infant, calf or juvenile Standing or Walking parallel to its mother or other family member, with trunk raised toward or reaching into the other’s mouth; persistent following and reaching and Begging is typically associated with complaining calls such as Begging-Rumbles, Cry-Rumbles and Grumble-Rumbles, etc.

Calves will reach into the mouths of others and Steal-Food. Such behavior is often associated with appeasement tactics by the calf, like Trunk-to-Mouth, Ear-Brushing and/or Social-Rubbing. Infants may reach into the mouths of their mothers and sample food. It has been assumed that this is one way infant elephants learn what to eat. Among older calves and juveniles, such Begging behavior is sometimes rewarded with food being purposefully dropped and shared by the mother (Food-Sharing).

References: Poole & Granli 2021. (Full reference list)

This behavioral constellation includes the following behaviors: Begging-Rumble, Cry, Cry-Rumble, Ear-Brush, Food-Sharing, Food-Stealing, Grumble-Rumble, Periscope-Trunk, Roar-Rumble, Rumble-Cry-Rumble, Social-Rubbing, Trunk-to-Mouth and occurs in the following context(s): Affiliative, Calf Nourishment & Weaning, Foraging & Comfort Technique