An adolescent female, or other non-lactating female, permitting a calf to Suckle from her; or a calf Suckling from a non-lactating female.

References: Lee 1987; Bates et al 2008. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Calf Reassurance & Protection


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (1)

When the clip start we see Matriarch Selengei who is feeding. We hear a calf giving a Baroo-Rumble with a complaining tone. The camera pans to the left and reveals a one year old female calf who is separated from her mother. As she moves in the direction of her mother, who is out of view to the left, two adolescent females Head-Raise and Ear-Lift and reach Trunk-to-Mouth to reassure her. She cries out with another Baroo-Rumble.

One adolescent female touches her Trunk-to-Mouth for several seconds and then turns away and the calf follows her while Trunk-Sucking. As the calf approaches her, she begin to raise her trunk in a Solicit-Suckle and simultaneously the adolescent female adopt a Suckle-Stance by putting her leg forward to allow the calf to Comfort-Suckle. The calf Comfort-Suckles for a few seconds. As she begins Comfort-Suckling her mother appears in frame in the left foreground. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (2)

Little E is only 3 days old. Allomother Lorato has defecated. Little E is interested in her dung. Mama Little E touches his genitals (Trunk-to-Genitals) and his anus, holds his tail and then Trunk-to-Genitals again three times. (We believe she is trying to attract his attention away from the dung and away from allomother Lorato).

Little E then begins to try to Comfort-Suckle from Lorato who immediately adopts a Suckle-Stance, putting her foot forward. He appears not to be successful and stops. Mama Little E comes over and touches him under his mouth (Trunk-to-Mouth) and then along and up his trunk as she turns slightly away from allomother Lorato - she is purposefully using her trunk to Guide him away from Lorato and toward her. He turns toward her. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (3)

Little E is 3 days old. His mother, Mama Little E is feeding and Little E is wandering about at her feet. He comes near her trunk and she touch him on his shoulder Trunk-to-Body and then moves her trunk around to touch his mouth, Trunk-to-Mouth. He emits a Low-Intensity Husky-Cry. Then she touches his genitals, Trunk-to-Genitals and he gives a High Intensity Husky-Cry with an Open-Mouth, whereupon Mama Little E immediately moves her trunk under his mouth and moves the tip of her trunk over his open mouth (Trunk-to-Mouth) - almost as if to quiet him. It appears as if she literally closes his mouth with her trunk - then she draws her trunk very gently along the underside of his trunk - holding his trunk up.

As she is covering his mouth allomother, Lorato, appears in frame and touches his genitals (Trunk-to-Genitals) x 2. He appears to vocalize again but this is ruined by wind. All the touching has caused his penis to erect and he uses his hindfeet to scratch it x2. Lorato seems to consider the situation and engages briefly in Trunk-Sucking. Little E wanders closer to his mother and she again Trunk-to-Genitals and with all the fondling his penis is well and truly out.

Lorato seems to try to purposefully attract his attention with her trunk and Little E wanders over under Lorato and searches for her nipple at the wrong end. Lorato purposefully turns and backs up so he is in the right position and adopts a Suckle-Stance and Little E walks over and Comfort-Suckle from her. As she touches him again we hear him rumble. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (4)

Little E is 15 days old. Mama Little E has carefully crossed the rocky stream and is waiting on the other side, feeding. As the clip begins Little E is balancing on a rock and reaches his trunk up to try to Comfort-Suckle from allomother Lorato, who simultaneously adopts a Suckle-Stance putting her foot forward to give him access. As he tries to find her teat she reaches her trunk back between her forelegs (we can see the tip appear) as if to check what he is doing, to show him or help him find her teat (Trunk-to-Infant-at-Breast). He appears to successfully suck for a few seconds before Lorato slips and he loses contact and goes back to blowing bubbles in the stream. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (5)

Little E is 1 month old. Grumpy Grandma starts to move and as she does someone "off-stage" begins a series of Cadenced-Rumbles. As she passes Little E starts to follow her but is stopped by Lorato who distracts him by a Trunk-to-Genitals Caress (Note that Grumpy Granma is grumpy and has kicked and tusked Little E away a few times).

As Little E walks away she reaches her trunk to touch him on his hind leg, again seemingly to distract him and draw his attention to her. She swivels her body to apparently offer her breast to him. He turns and begins to search for it. She bumps his trunk in the right direction in a Trunk-to-Infant-at-Breast type movement, but he is at her front rather than her side. He gets to the right position and she moves her left leg forward in a Suckle-Stance and he tries to Comfort-Suckle. She reaches back a couple of times in a Trunk-to-Infant-at-Breast movement as if showing him. The family begins to walk by. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (6)

Fayza has a newborn male. He has been Suckling from her and when finished he wanders over to one of his two allomothers and tries to Comfort-Suckle from the older of them. This juvenile females reaches back several times in a Trunk-to-Infant-at-Breast. (Amboseli, Kenya)