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Reach-Touch

Swinging of the trunk and body to touch nearest neighbor relatives while Standing-Tall and while Bunching. Sometimes the reaching and touching may extend to Trunk-Grasping. The elephant(s) usually secrete temporin and rumble softly to one another. It appears to be during this stage that elephants collectively decide a course of action (Group-Advance versus Full-Retreat or Panic-Running). The vocalizing to and reaching out to others may be a sign of reassurance. It could indicate an intricate group decision making process in which the reaching out to and “talking” involves other team members in planning a course of action. (151a) The fact that the swinging of body and trunk toward others, Reach-Touch, is also seen in Bonding Ceremonies is suggestive that it has more to do with unity, stating the importance of group members, than to mere reassurance. (151b)