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Caressing

Using the trunk to touch or "caress" another in a reassuring or comforting manner. While adult females or juvenile females most often direct reassuring touches towards infants and calves, adults and juveniles may also Caress one another.

Caresses come in many forms: wrapping a trunk over the back and around the belly of a calf or over calf's shoulder and under its neck often touching its mouth; reaching out to touch the genitals, temporal glands, face, legs, mouth, trunk of another individual. (87) There may be some confusion over the definitions of Caressing, Shepherding and Test-Mouth, Test-Genitals etc. The differences are subtle and there is overlap. Caressing is behavior within a family or bond group that is related to reinforcing bonds between individuals and is typically associated with Ear-Lifting, Head-raising, or Social-Rubbing and is usually done while the partners are standing in parallel.

Test-Mouth, Test-Temporal-Glands is meant to refer primarily casual meetings between male-male, female-male or female-female pairs. In these cases the pairs typically stand facing one another. These are casual acquaintances and may have more to do with individual identification or assessment. To distinguish between Caressing and Shepherding, the former is behavior related to greeting, reassuring or cooing over an infant or calf and the later related to protective, guiding or gathering motions.