Poking another elephant with the tip of the tusks. This is a ‘less polite’ form of Pushing another elephant. In Aggressive contexts Tusking can be used with the intention to cause bodily harm, as during Dueling, or to show displeasure or encourage another to move. In a Playful context Tusking is more gentle. All age/sex group use Tusking except infants and young calves, who do not have tusks, or, likewise, tuskless individuals.

References: Douglas-Hamilton 1972: ch 6; Lee 1986; Poole 1987a; Poole 1989a; Kahl & Armstrong 2000; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2004; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Aggressive, Calf Nourishment & Weaning, Social Play


Context: Aggressive (1)

As the clip starts, an adolescent female Advances-Toward and Ear-Folds at another adolescent female who Retreats-From. An adolescent male appears to start to follow them, but he is disturbed by the intrusion of a second adolescent male. The first male Orients-Toward the second, tries Tusking him and then lunges at him in a second failed attempt to Tusk him. The second male Orients-Away and Retreats-From. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Aggressive (2)

Mama Little E, Little E (14 days old) and Lorato are out of sight in some bushes with a couple of young, troublesome males. A loud calf Roar is heard and we guess that Little E got frightened or hurt by one of the young males. Mama Little E and perhaps Lorato respond with a Coo-Rumble. Mama Little E Backs-Toward the others trying to rescue Little E. She looks alarmed and she gives a loud Protest-Trumpet.

Allomother, Lorato, steps forward using a Guiding gesture with her trunk. She is with Little E. Lorato adopts a Suckle-Stance and Touch-Breast as if to show him where to Suckle. Mama Little E comes rushing forward. The male follows and Tusks Mama Little E and then put his Trunk-to-Genitals of, first, Mama Little E and then Lorato. Lorato Touch-Self looking apprehensive. The adolescent male Tusk Mama Little E again and then he runs trunk along his own tusk to Check-Tusk. He contemplates, then scratch ear and then Tusk Mama Little E up the bum a 3rd time. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Aggressive (3)

The matriarch, Qoral has just Pushed her daughter Qadija, who is in estrus. Qoral has for some time been trying to get everyone to move into the woodlands and Qadija being in estrus is slowing things down. Unfortunately, we missed the moment when this happened, but afterwards they seem to Greet one another.

As they are interacting, ten year old Qaskazi approaches cautiously trying to get close to Qoral's infant again. She seems wary of Qadija - and she is right to be! Qadija swiftly turns on her and Tusks and then Advances-Toward her and Qaskazi Retreats-From. She makes a wide arc around and away from Qadija and then back to where she started, meeting her mother Qasima there and Ear-Brushing against her. Qoral meanwhile as continued to call, her Rumbling now sound like Lets-Go-Rumbles and the family gathers around her. (Amboseli, Kenya)