An elephant, typically male, and usually with an erection, reaching his trunk over or along the back of another elephant. Observed in Courtship and Social Play as a prelude to Mounting. Females have been observed to Reach-Over other females as a display of dominance during the attempted kidnapping of an infant, and during a Greeting to a family member with a newborn.

References: Kühme 1961; Eisenberg et al 1971; Jainudeen et al 1971; Moss 1983; Moss 1988; Poole 1996; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2004; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

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


Context: Courtship (1)

A young male Reach-Over a Mabenzi family female that he appears to be interested in. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Courtship (2)

Pascal is in musth and Amparo is in estrus and they are in Consort. This is the 4th day that she is in estrus and she is at her peak. At the start of the clip we see Pascal standing next to Amparo with a Penis-Erection. Pascal then begins a series of courtship behaviors for 2 and a half minutes: Reaching-Over her and Resting-Head on her three times and in between these gently Driving her - pushing and nudging her from side to side and reaching his Trunk-Toward her.

Meanwhile, Amparo cooperates and shows she is ready by Backing-Toward him. She Stands-to-Mate. As the other elephants realise what is about to happen they walk toward her to watch. Tuskless Dram Rumbles and Amparo joins her with an Estrous-Rumble. Dram Rumbles twice more. As Pascal circles Amparo preparing her and himself, Dram walks over to sniff Pascals penis, reaching Trunk-to-Genitals and then Rumbles again.

The tension in the group is palpable and two younger males in the background get into a Duel, Tusk-Clanking. An elephant Trumpets. Another male Runs-After them. Meanwhile Pascal steps back and forth shifting his weight from one foot to the other as he prepares to lift himself onto his hind legs and Dram Rumbles again. Pascal mounts Amparo and the clip ends. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Courtship (3)

Pascal is in musth and Qadija is in estrus. Pascal has been Guarding her all day. We have seen signs that they are about to Mate. As this clip starts Pascal with a Penis-Erection Pursues Qadija who engages in an Estrous-Walk, Looking-Back. As Pascal gets closer she slows. With an Open-Mouth Pascal Reaches-Over and she Stands-to-Mate. Pascal Mounts her and appears to achieve intromission on the 7th thrust. Rumbling and Rumble-Roar-Rumbles by other family members can be heard.

Qadija Kicks-Back at Pascal and other males gather around reaching Trunk-Toward them. Pascal is Mounted for 25 seconds and Rumbling by family members continues. As he dismounts Qadija rushes forward and gives an Estrous-Rumble which is answered by Pascal Musth-Rumbling and then another Estrous-Rumble by Qadija who then Head-Shakes. (Amboseli, Kenya)