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Object-Play

Playing with an object. As with Play-Kick-Back an elephant may be more engaged by "novel" man-made objects (such as paper, plastic, an old sack), though a palm-frond, swamp vegetation or a stick will also do. An elephant may pick up an object, pierce it on a tusk, mouth it, bite it, step on it, roll it under a foot, wave it from side to side, up and down, put it on its own head or back, and focus attention in it in quiet contemplation - only to retrieve it again and begin to toy with it once more. This game may go on for 10-20 minutes or longer. (130a) A similar behavior may be seen by elephants in reaction to the bones of elephants: they may pick them up, mouth them, bite them, step on them, roll them under a foot, wave them about and toss them (130b)