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“Eating Someone’s Head” Behavior

Maia and Ramba

So……when we refer to Maia ‘eating someone’s head’, this is what we’re talking about. It is not an uncommon behavior for Asian elephants- it can be playful, demonstrative, and everywhere in between. Maia doesn’t actually bite during this behavior, although we refer to it as ‘eating,’ she just has her mouth open. When Maia did it the other day, it started out as exploratory, but then she put a little more weight on Ramba’s head-not aggressive, just not soft. We asked her what she was doing, and she took her trunk down.

During all of this, Ramba is a willing participant. As we mentioned yesterday, she rumbled during it, not a totally contented rumble, but not an upset rumble either. It seems like Ramba knows that Maia isn’t the most gentle in her actions, but she still wants to be with her. Most of the time, it is Ramba who goes over to engage with Maia.

This behavior is something Maia would do with Guida as well, usually including an eye sucking or ear smelling. Guida was very accepting of it, and if she wasn’t in the mood, she would just walk out from underneath it. It’s not something all elephants are comfortable with, but Ramba doesn’t seem to mind.

November 7, 2019

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Comments(6)

  1. REPLY
    Carol says

    So interesting….

    • REPLY
      Tammy says

      Wow, fun facts I never knew before, thanks for sharing!

  2. REPLY
    SHEILA says

    OH I THINK🐘 MAIA. IS SHOWING AFFECTION BUT ON A CAUTIOUS SIDE ONE NEVER KNOWS INLESS IT CONTINUES WITH PRESSURE! MAYBE SHES CARRYING OVER THIS BEHAVIOR FROM DEAR GUIDA! INTERESTING HOW MAIA WILL DO WITH 🐘LADY! 🐘POCHA AND 🐘GMINA‼️

  3. REPLY
    CyrAnn says

    I think it’s so wonderful that the ladies are slowly being respectful and engaging of one another. I know they just love being free to make their own choices!!!!!!!!!!

  4. REPLY
    Sue says

    It is so interesting the various ways they communicate with each other. I can only imagine the Ele-conversations that are going on between these amazing sweet Ladies. Thank you for explainIng the head-eating, I was always curious about it! Do you see any similarities between Guida’s personality and Ramba’s? Thank you, as always, for keeping us so informed. It is such an amazing journey 🥰 ❤️🐘❤️🐘❤️🐘❤️🐘❤️🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘

  5. REPLY
    Carey says

    so interesting seeing the interactions

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