An elephant taking exaggerated sideways steps, to manoeuvre rapidly into a new position that is immediately to the elephant’s left or right. This movement is classically seen by adult males (usually in musth) during Duelling or Escalated-Contests where a male tries to manoeuvre himself into a better position. It may similarly be observed among males during Sparring.

Further, Sashaying may be observed among adult, adolescent and juvenile females as members of a family jockey for a better position during Affiliative behavior such as a Bonding-Ceremony, or by an adult female - or male - during Attacking or Mobbing behavior.

References: Poole & Granli 2021. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Affiliative, Aggressive, Attacking & Mobbing, Conflict & Confrontation, Social Play


Context: Conflict & Attacking & Mobbing (1)

A sub-section of the C family is crossing the track behind us. We have been observing them for a while and they have been very vigilant Listening and Head-Swinging. Nomada crosses first but is rather unsure - she stands looking at us, Chin-Up and Ears-Spread. She Backs-Toward the others who are still on the other side of the track. She Reach-Touch Corajosa, as if to get her attention and, we believe, her assistance.

Corajosa Rapid-Ear-Flaps and Rumbles. Nomada turns to cross the track again with calves in tow and turns to face us with Ears-Spread. Corajosa then comes from the bushes on the left, and Sashays across the road. We hear more deep Rumbling. She Kicks-Dust and Charges with her Head-Low. She gives a Trumpet-Blast and does a Trunk-Bounce with her chopped trunk at then end of her Charge. Someone else also Trumpets and we hear more Rumbling. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)