Tenacious baby elephant adamantly head-butts big brother
Dominance is largely a matter of seniority in the world of a male elephant. They learn their relative strength and status, within and between age classes, as they grow up, through frequent play fights. Dominance is usually determined and acknowledged the moment two bulls meet, simply on the basis of which stands taller. This video shows a feisty baby elephant who does not believe that size matters. The tough little guy takes on his bigger brother in a fearless manner during a play fight ritual. He shows real tenacity and determination, clearly not prepared to back off or surrender. He starts off with a courageous head-butt and confidently continues to wrestle his bigger brother.
Young bulls spend time practicing head-butting to establish rank between themselves and to develop skills that they will use to win dominance later in life. The smaller baby elephant is ready for action and he does not look intimidated by his taller brother at all. He delivers the first head-butt with real confidence. He does not stop there and adamantly continues to charge his brother head first. He struggles to push his heavier brother backwards. The bigger male patiently stood there and entertained his baby brother's attempts. After every head-butt attempt he would just slightly push him back and allow him to try again.
Suddenly the play fighting stops when mommy comes around and separates the two elephants. She slightly grabs the older one by his trunk and give him a little push so he can move away. While his bigger brother takes the brunt, the little male slowly moves on as if he had nothing to do with it. These encounters will continue throughout their lives until they are 40 years old. At this age males have established their individual ranks and there is no more need for fighting. This prevents older males risking injury or death.