Powerful, noisy, highly modulated rumbles (3-4 seconds in duration) may be heard when elephants are confronting a dangerous predator. These calls have the effect of both intimidating the predator and, simultaneously, calling in support from family members not in the immediate vicinity. We refer to the powerful rolling rumbles given in this context as Roaring-Rumbles because of the roaring quality. Bunching together, with older individuals at the fore and calves occupying the center, the adults may continue to give Roaring-Rumbles, Roars or Trumpet-Blasts. One or more individuals may Advance-Toward or Charge the predator while emitting a Trumpet-Blast. Throughout a confrontation with a dangerous predator the bunched elephants may continue to vocalize while Head-Raising, Ear-Spreading, streaming with Temporin, and trunks reaching out toward one another - Reach-Touch. Softer Rumbling by bunched elephants, alternatively, appear to be involved in decision-making and may be followed by a hasty retreat.
References: Poole 2011. (Full reference list)
This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Coalition Building, Conflict & Confrontation