A sudden forward thrust of the body and tusks, often with the trunk outstretched, to attack another. May be observed in Social Play, Aggressive and Attacking and Mobbing contexts. In the two former contexts all age/sex groups may be observed to Lunge at another elephant. In Attacking and Mobbing such behavior in the wild is likely limited to adult male and female elephants.

References: O’Connell-Rodwell et al 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Aggressive, Social Play


Context: Aggressive (1)

There was tension around an estrous female and two males began an Escalated-Contest which lasted close to 4 hours. During this period they engaged in 3 bouts of Dueling.

This clip is a section of the second bout of Dueling. As they are about to clash they stand facing one another Chins-Out, Heads-High and then Tusks-Clank as the longer tusked males Lunges at the broken-tusked male Pushing him back. They separate and both engage in Check-Tusk as they examine whether their tusks have been damaged. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Aggressive (2)

It is unusual for females to fight with males, but when it occurs it is likely between an adult female and a teenage male and typically when the young male is behaving inappropriately toward her or toward a member of her family.

In this case Ozora is in estrous and being lightly Guarded by Liaqat. A young male, about 15 years old, smaller than her and perhaps 15 years younger, is interested in her and, perhaps frustrated by her lack of interest in him, becomes aggressive. We use the term aggressive Sparring, but if one studies the behavior this is closer to Dueling. Ozora is angry at him Ear-Folding and Ear-Slapping and holding her Head-High and Chin-Out. She Backs-Away and he Advances-Toward her. She again Ear-Folds and Ear-Slaps with Head-High and Chin-Out. She Backs-Away again and he presses his advantage. Ozora Lunges at him and they clash tusks. She Reaches-High, and Lunges at him clashing tusks again. She adopts Circus-Pose and Lunges again then as he Backs-Away she Reaches-High again. She Advances-Toward him Ear-Folding and Ear-Slapping as he Backs-Away. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Aggressive (3)

There is tension around an estrous female. A new medium sized male has just joined the group and a second medium sized male with two broken tusks has taken exception to his arrival and threatens him Ear-Folding and Advancing-Toward him. As this clip the two males stand facing one another Head-High and Ears-Spreading. They make contact and Tusk-Clank. The male on the right Lunges at the male on the left and forces him back. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Aggressive (4)

Amparo is at the end of estrus. The day before she Mated with musth male Pascal. She has just Mated with a medium sized male whom she is standing beside. She is approached by a young male who has been threatening and harassing her and she has sought protection from the slightly larger male. She Advances-Toward the young male Chin-Out and he Orients-Toward her. She Touches-Self and then adopts Periscope-Trunk. Both Ear-Fold at each other. The male reaches toward her Trunk-to-Mouth and she reciprocates. As she does he Lunges at her and they Tusk-Clank, still Ear-Folding. They both Back-Away from one another. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Aggressive (5)

Throughout an Escalated-Contest between Tee-Jay and Gordon, Tee-Jay really holds Head-High and Chin-in posture and Ear-Folds persistently. In this short clip Tee-Jay Advances-Toward Gordon with Head-High, Chin-In and Lunges twice at Gordon as they Tusk-Clank in a Duel. Tee-Jay forces Gordon back, but after they separate Gordon Advances-Toward Tee-Jay, stil with Head-High and Chin-In Backs-Away. Gordon Head-Shakes and Tee-Jay circles around and comes to face him again. (Amboseli, Kenya)