Standing idly, lingering, loitering until other elephants either catch up or are alerted to the signallers attempt to initiate movement; contextually this posture is obvious as the Waiting individual is attentive (engaging in behaviors such as J-Trunk, Eye-Blinking, Ears-Stiff), often glancing back over her shoulder (Look-Back), and/or checking the others' activity by sniffing, listening and looking, and indicating her impatience by taking a few desultory steps and pausing again - Walk-Wait. This behaviour occurs in a number of different contexts.

In a Calf Reassurance & Protection context, mothers and allomothers are often seen Waiting for infants and calves; in a Courtship context, Consorting musth male and estrous female are observed to Wait for one another in order to maintain a certain proximity, to prevent other males from Mating. In a Movement Space & Leadership context, elephants of all age/sex groups Wait for one another to keep the family or group together.

References: Moss 1988; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavioral constellation includes the following behaviors: Displacement-Feeding, Displacement-Grooming, Ears-Stiff, Eye-Blinking, Foot-Lifting, Foot-Swinging, J-Trunk, Look-Back, Walk-Wait and occurs in the following context(s): Ambivalent, Attentive, Birth, Calf Reassurance & Protection, Courtship, Movement, Space & Leadership


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (1)

Little E is 3 days old and is in a patch of forest on the bank of a lugga. Mama Little E has been Waiting for him at the end of this riverine forest. She stands attentively, Ears-Stiff, Listening, Waiting, occasionally reaching her Trunk-Toward her infant behind her. Then she Backs-Toward him to retrieve him. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (2)

A newborn is in a mud wallow and is experiencing water for the first time. The infant has spent 10 minutes or so blowing bubbles. The infant's mother was in the mud wallow with him for a while, but as the clip starts she is Waiting on the bank for the infant to finish - we see her shadow on the right.

She walks into frame in a Walk-Wait and we see the infant raise his head. She reaches Trunk-to-Genitals to touch him and to get his attention and emits a barely audible Coo-Rumble. She engages in Foot-Swinging and Foot-Lifting and stands attentively, with J-Trunk and Ears-Stiff. Her infant climbs out of the wallow and when he is by her side, she begins to walk. They walk away together. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (3)

Little E is 3 days old and Mama Little E (front) and allomother Lorato (rear) are Shepherding him along. Note how Mama Little E pauses to Look-Back, Waiting for him to reach her side. She seems to uses a Trunk-Sweep motion and the initiation of walking again Guiding him forward. As he slows Lorato gently Pushes him along. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (4)

Little E is 3 days old and is with his mother, Mama Little E (closest to the camera), and two allomothers, Lorato (back) and V-Notch (front). Little E cannot walk very fast. Notice how conscious they seem to be of his abilities - Waiting for him, walking very slowing and Shepherding him down the slope. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (5)

A young mother and her infant are crossing a rocky stream. The mother is leading and pauses to Wait for the infant who is having trouble negotiating the rocks. She stands Foot-Lifting and Waiting and Looking-Back, while swinging her trunk. When she realises he isn't coming she Head-Shakes and turns around to Help him Shepherding him over the rocks. As she walks she Look-Back to see that he is following her and pauses for him to catch up in a Walk-Wait. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (6)

Little E is 10 days old and is trying to follow his mother and 2 allomothers Lorato and V-Notch up a steep bank from a lugga where they have been drinking and feeding. He has difficulty getting up. V-Notch goes up first and Waits at the top rather agitated - swinging her head back and forth (Look-Back) to see whether he is coming. Mama and Lorato Stand Waiting for him Looking-Back part way up the steep-sided bank. Lorato turns around to help him and Shepherds him up. Little E does well but then begins to slide down again. Finally he makes it all the way up. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)