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: Calf Reassurance & Protection (1)

Little E is 16 days old. His family is trying to get across a rocky river bed. Mama Little E is walking slowing and seems to use her Trunk to check out the safety of the substrate. Little E is Tail-Raising in response to a new frightening situation.

Mama Little E slips and falls and lands on Little E. No wonder they have been so careful! Little E roars, someone snorts and females by rumbling and Tail-Raising. Latino whirls around and Redirects-Aggression, Standing-Tall and Kick-Dust, Foot-Scuff, and Head-Dip-Touch-Ground as they check to see what the problem was - check out the rocks as if to see what went wrong! Latino and Lorato and V-Notch all touch little E. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)