Raising the tail. The tail of a relaxed elephant hangs down. Fearful, highly playful or sexually or socially aroused elephants typically raise their tails. All age/sex groups Tail-Raise in Vigilant and Avoidance contexts; female adults, adolescents and calves Tail-Raise in Affiliative and Courtship contexts and female adults and adolescents Tail-Raise in Coalition Building contexts.

References: Douglas-Hamilton 1972: ch 6; Moss 1988; Poole 1996: 41, 154; Poole 1999a; Payne, 1998; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2004; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Affiliative, Avoidance, Calf Reassurance & Protection, Coalition Building, Social Play, Vigilance


Context: Vigilance (1)

Matriarch Nalakite is taking up the rear as her family walks through open Acacia woodland. They hear the sound of approaching livestock and Nalakite and another female can be seen Tail-Raising. We can hear the alarm snort of a herbivore and alarm calls of guinea fowl. They stop walking, Freezing and Listening. Nalakite continues Tail-Raising. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)