Individuals Orienting-Toward, Backing-Toward, Walking, Waiting, Walk-Waiting or moving in such a way as to maintain a certain comfortable or safe distance to another individual or individuals. This behavior may be observed by all age/sex groups with different ages and sexes involved in different contexts. For example, during Courtship context a Consorting pair will jointly attempt to maintain close proximity to one another.

During Guarding a musth male takes the lead in Maintaining-Proximity to the estrous female he is Guarding. An estrous female who is Soliciting-Guarding takes the lead in Maintaining-Proximity to her preferred mate. In a Calf Reassurance & Protection context adult, adolescent and juvenile females take responsibility for Maintaining-Proximity to infants, while, generally, older calves take more of the responsibility of Maintaining-Proximity to their mothers and other care-takers. In a Movement Space & Leadership context, members of a family take a larger role in Maintaining-Proximity to their matriarch. The same applies in all male groups in which, generally, younger animals pay attention to the location and movement of their elders, following their lead.

References: Poole 1982; Poole 1989b. (Full reference list)

This behavioral constellation includes the following behaviors: Back-Toward, Look-Back, Orient-Toward, Waiting, Walk-Wait, Walk-Toward, Walk-Away and occurs in the following context(s): Calf Reassurance & Protection, Courtship, Movement, Space & Leadership


Context: Courtship (1)

Mwana Nzo is in estrous and is separated by several hundreds meters from her family. She is with two males - a musth male and a younger male. Mwana Nzo Solicits-Guarding from the musth male, Waiting and Walk-Waiting for him, Looking-At and Looking-Back at him and showing her impatience to move with Foot-Lifting. The musth male is only very loosely Guarding her.

In this clip he is seen following her - Maintaining-Proximity of about 10 meters. The younger male is interested in her and gets a full erection. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)


Context: Courtship (2)

Ozora is in estrus Guarded by Liaqat. There are numerous other males associated with them. As the clip begins Liaqat Guards Ozora following her. He stops to Contemplate something; she takes 4 more steps and then realizing he has stopped, she stops and Waits. The other males stop when she stops. She Waits for him with a J-Trunk and Looks-Back.

A male in the foreground approaches her and Liaqat begins to walk, but then stops again. Ozora Looks-Back and begins to Walk and then Waits for Liaqat again. The approaching male gets an Erection as he reaches Trunk-to-Genitals to test her and Ozora Orients-Away. Liaqat is coming and the testing male has little time. He Redirects-Aggression and, with a Full-Penis-Erection, he Runs-After another male his size, who is ahead of Ozora, reaching out to touch him with his trunk.

With Liaqat Walking-Towards her Ozora has begun Walking again and we hear Liaqat give an Ear-Wave and a Musth-Rumble. Ozora keeps Walking and Looks-Back to see whether Liaqat is coming. She and he work together to maintain a distance between them of 6 to 10 meters. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)