Rushing at another with head lowered and trunk curved under (to expose tusks) and goring or poking it with the tusks. This is a serious attack with intent to harm. Elephants may receive serious wounds and or die from such attacks. While Ramming in an Aggressive context most often involves adult males, females also engage in Ramming. A female was seen with a broken off female tusk sticking out of the side of her body. In a Social Play context Ramming is most likely to be instigated by immature and young adult males. Adult males and females may Ram vehicles.

References: Douglas-Hamilton 1972: 130; Kahl & Armstrong 2000; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2004; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

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


Context: Social Play (1)

There are 3 adolescent/juvenile males. The male on the left with the broken leg, is gm0009. He is the oldest and was a bystander while the other two were Sparring. The smallest male, facing us, appears to become angry and overly aggressive, attacking the male with his back to us, Ramming into him and forcing him back. Then gm0009 seems to intervene and the two pause as if thinking better of the game. The male with his back to us Touch-Self. In what appears to be an act of Conciliation gm0009 touches the smallest male, who seems to Rump-Present and gm0009 leans into him and touch him Trunk-to-Genitals. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)