Raising and holding a foreleg off the ground. Raising and holding a hind-foot may also be observed although this is less common than a forefoot. Individuals in all age sex groups may Foot-Lift in Submissive, Ambivalent and Conflict & Confrontation contexts when unsure of what action to take, as in Displacement-Behavior. Likewise, all age sex groups may Foot-Lift In Attentive and Vigilance contexts as seen during Freezing behavior, when elephants may be feeling for or picking up seismic vibrations.

In a Movement Space and Leadership context Foot-Lifting is observed among adult females as a signal of intention - i.e. an Intention-Movement - for example, as a component of the Let’s-Go-Stance.

References: Douglas-Hamilton 1972: ch 6; Moss 1988; Poole 1999a; O’Connell-Rodwell et al 2006. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Ambivalent, Attentive, Movement, Space & Leadership, Submissive, Vigilance


Context: Vigilance (1)

Tuskless female, Valda, stands Head-Swinging and Foot-Lifting. Then she begins a Perpendicular-Walk, which appears to be a signal for one-tusked Vigilante to Charge. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)


Context: Vigilance (2)

Adult female gf0070 starts to walk toward us but then sees us and stops and starts first Foot-Swinging and then Foot-Lifting. The calves stand waiting. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)


Context: Vigilance (3)

A young male crosses the road and shows signs of apprehension and vigilance - Tail-Raising and then pausing on the other side of the track to lift a hind foot - Foot-Lifting. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)