Within a Consort, during peak estrous, and immediately prior to Mounting, the Guarding male using his forehead to push an estrous female, from side to side and forward, while she Stands-to-Mate. May sometimes be observed by younger males in a Social Play context.

References: Eisenberg et al 1971; Poole 1999a; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Courtship, Social Play


Context: Courtship (1)

This is the second day we have seen Amparo in estrus. The day before she was Guarded by Esau and Mated with him twice. On this day Pascal in musth is not interested in her at first and she is followed by other males including this one who is also in musth. She has been acting Wary but in this clip shows she is ready to Mate by the way she Rump-Presents to the male who tests her Trunk-to-Genitals, and allows him to try to Drive her. He tests her Trunk-to-Genitals and Sniffs-Ground and she stands and Tail-Swats him.

This is not a very good example of Driving which would typically involve more Pushing and pushing back, but she is clearly standing her ground rather than immediately moving off. And when she does walk away she does so slowly as if to encourage him. Then she leads him in a Chase and he Mounts her and successfully Mates her (see in a separate clip). (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Courtship (2)

Pascal is in musth and Amparo is in estrus and they are in Consort. This is the 4th day that she is in estrus and she is at her peak. At the start of the clip we see Pascal standing next to Amparo with a Penis-Erection. Pascal then begins a series of courtship behaviors for 2 and a half minutes: Reaching-Over her and Resting-Head on her three times and in between these gently Driving her - pushing and nudging her from side to side and reaching his Trunk-Toward her.

Meanwhile, Amparo cooperates and shows she is ready by Backing-Toward him. She Stands-to-Mate. As the other elephants realise what is about to happen they walk toward her to watch. Tuskless Dram Rumbles and Amparo joins her with an Estrous-Rumble. Dram Rumbles twice more. As Pascal circles Amparo preparing her and himself, Dram walks over to sniff Pascals penis, reaching Trunk-to-Genitals and then Rumbles again. The tension in the group is palpable and two younger males in the background get into a Duel, Tusk-Clanking. An elephant Trumpets. Another male Runs-After them. Meanwhile Pascal steps back and forth shifting his weight from one foot to the other as he prepares to lift himself onto his hind legs and Dram Rumbles again. Pascal mounts Amparo and the clip ends. (Amboseli, Kenya)