Elephants show a lot of interest in dead bodies. Thankfully, that plus their large size is where the similarities between them and John Wayne Gacy end. When in the presence of a dead elephant, a fellow pachyderm will slowly approach and examine the carcass to check if it’s not just someone sleeping off last night’s epic binge (elephants are actually huge lightweights.) Once death has been confirmed, the elephant might try to cover the body (yes, they actually do that), examine the ground, or socialize with close-by elephants to let them know that this whole area will be impossible to rent-out now. They do this even if they didn’t actually know the dead elephant. Now, all of this could possibly be explained by the elephants being wary about potential threats to them and trying to protect their own, but many of them take it a step further.
Some elephants have been observed returning to the same carcass over and over again, almost as if they were visiting a grave. They were even observed standing perfectly still on a few occasions, like a human taking a moment of silence. Also, they cry. Not from the eyes but elephants have something called “temporal glands” that begin to stream when the animals become “emotionally elevated” and that’s exactly what the elephant Noor did when her mother Victoria died in the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya. She just hanged around the body for weeks with fluid flowing from her face. Victoria’s son Malasso, on the other hand, was suspected of trying to repeatedly lift his dead mom over and over. It was basically like that scene where Simba tried to get the dead Mufasa to wake up, only real and starring Dumbo.