Using the sole of the foot to carefully step on a branch with long, firm thorns, and then to scrub the foot back and forth over the branch to break and disarm the thorns. This is a technique that must be learned and perfected and is perhaps limited to individuals with more calloused foot pads. It is observed among adults, though less often in adolescent elephants.

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

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Foraging & Comfort Technique


Context: Foraging & Comfort Technique (1)

An adult female uses a swinging kicking motion and the sole of her foot to break or 'scrub-off' the thorns from an Acacia drepanolobium branch. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Foraging & Comfort Technique (2)

A juvenile female uses the sole of his foot to Scrub-off-Thorns from an Acacia branch. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)