A moderately loud, relatively flat, tonal Rumble of long duration (~4.5-6.5 seconds) and low pitch that is associated with rhythmic Ear-Flapping and given by an elephant, standing intently at edge of her group, calling repeatedly. The elephant, usually, though not exclusively, adult and female, indicates that she wishes to depart by Body-Axis-Pointing, repeated Rumbling, by exhibiting Intention-Movements, such as Foot-Swinging and Waiting behavior. The calling elephant repeats her ‘Let's go,’ appeal once every minute or so, sometimes calling for periods of up to half an hour, as she tries to persuade others to depart. She may Walk-Wait and Look-Back to see whether others are following her. The calling individual may gain the support of other individuals who join in her calling, but often this is a solo call.
The ‘let's go' is, in essence, a proposal: 'I want to go this direction, let's go together.' It is audibly distinguishable from most other elephant Rumbles due to its characteristic long drawn-out quality and the posture of the calling elephant, but its acoustic characteristics can be confused with the Cadenced-Rumble. The Let’s-Go-Rumble is one of the more commonly heard calls among a family of elephants.
There is a tendency for older females to produce this call more frequently than younger females, though juvenile females and adult males have also been heard to call. While a matriarch may propose a plan of action using a Let’s-Go-Rumble, very often she will simply move off without making any obvious audible suggestion, except an Ear-Flap-Slide or Ear-Slap motion with her ears (indicating a change of activity), presumably expecting (or at least hoping) others to follow without discussion! This is certainly not always the case, and many a ‘disagreement’ and ‘discussion’ takes place regarding plans of action in an elephant family.
References: Poole et al 1988; Poole 2011. (Full reference list)
This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Movement, Space & Leadership