A short (lasting less than half a second in duration) crying call given by an infant or calf under the age of five years in some form of mild distress (e.g. when denied access to the breast or when protesting unwanted contact by an older elephant). Cries are often followed by a Rumble without an inhalation, creating a Cry-Rumble, and rarely a Cry may be both preceded and followed by a Rumble producing a Rumble-Cry-Rumble. When a calf's Begging-Rumbles or Grumbling-Rumbles fail to induce its mother to stop and adopt a Suckle-Stance the calf may escalate it's begging to a higher-pitched Cry, Cry-Rumble, Roar, or Roar-Rumble.

Many of the Cries in our collection were recorded at feeding time among the orphaned calves in Tsavo at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Feeding time is frenzied with calves pushing and shoving for access to the milk bottles and coconut cakes. Most Cry and Cry-Rumbles in the wild are made by Begging calves, although calves may also cry when in mild distress. At this stage our data suggest that Cries, Cry-Rumbles and Rumble-Cry-Rumbles are given in similar contexts.

References: Poole 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Calf Nourishment & Weaning


Context: Calf Nourishment & Weaning (1)

The elephants in focus are behind elephants in the foreground and difficult to see. Ruby's 6 year old male has been trying to Suckle for a while and has been Roaring, Crying and complaining with loud Grumble-Rumbles. His Cry in this clip is bimodal. He leans into her on her left side and she Kicks-Back at him. He goes around the other side to try and she keeps him at bay by using a Body-Nudge and by using her tail to swat him (Tail-Swatting). He leans back and gives a Grumble-Rumble. We hear the filmmakers astonishment at this "big baby" trying to suckle with such determination. Ruby also has another younger calf. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Nourishment & Weaning (2)

Quieroz is Suckling her 4 year old male calf. When she moves her leg back to begin walking the calf Roars. As she continues to move the calf gives a Cry-Rumble and then finally a Cry. (Amboseli, Kenya)