Elephants' use of their trunks during feeding in captivity is described. African and Asian elephants differ not only in trunk morphology but also in trunk behavior. African elephants pick up objects using a "pinch" while Asians rely mostly on a "grasp." Asians normally use their feet to secure objects while Africans use their tusks. The first documented case of Africans using their feet is reported. Laterality or "handedness" is also reported for the first time in elephants. A survey of several zoos and circuses showed this phenomenon to be widespread in captivity. A female African elephant who was intensively studied showed lateral preferences for many different components of her feeding behavior.
Racine, R. N. (1980). Behavior Associated with Feeding in Captive African and Asian Elephants. Elephant, 1(5), 57-71. Doi: 10.22237/elephant/1521731845