For preview only. Get it at

The Elephant: Life after Death

Ratings: 7.00/10 from 9 users.

The Elephant: Life after DeathElephants can live for 70 years. But what happens when one of these magnificent beasts dies in the wild? This stunning film turns normal wildlife documentaries on their head to find out what happens after death, as a five-tonne adult elephant is transformed into six million calories worth of fat, meat and guts, feeding a whole new cycle of life.

The documentary gives scientists the chance to watch close up, day and night, as animals from leopards, hyenas and vultures to flies and beetles take just days to reduce the largest land animal on earth to bare bones. Biologist Simon Watt leads a team of experts watching the events unfold in Tsavo West National Park in Kenya.

They follow the action as never before, using remote cameras and night vision equipment under the supervision of animal behavior expert Warren Samuels. The elephant, a young adult male, had to be put down by a vet after being mortally wounded by ivory poachers. But his remains will provide a feast for the local ecosystem and a new source of research.

Raptor expert Simon Thomsett is keen to study the behavior of local vultures, whose increasing timidity could mark a shift in the food chain. Meanwhile big cat expert Alayne Cotterill is treated to the incredibly rare sight of leopards feeding on the elephant and insect expert Dino Martins marvels as flies and maggots swarm across the body and attract other predators in their turn. The eye-opening documentary is a unique insight into a natural spectacle that reveals how life has adapted to reap the bounty of death.

More great documentaries

27 Comments / User Reviews

  1. IM1RU2

    Humans are odd birds- we don't want to see the realities of life nor talk about the realities of death.

  2. Gary Kaeter

    i hate americans....and i am one...

  3. BennyB

    the part where the hyena stuck it's head up the dead elephant's anus made me spit out my tea

  4. Rachelnico

    LOL the hyena up the elephant ass was very funny. Can't believe it all disappeared in four days.

  5. Christopher Smith

    Hyena head up an elephants anal cavity. I won't forget that.

  6. Isabella

    The maggots are really amazing, imagine that all of those maggots are going to become butt-biting flies. You can even see the maggots moving from distant shots. gross!

  7. Thomas Felbo

    Those maggots are fascinating hurhurhur!!

  8. Gary V

    A very good doc, if just a little bit gory

  9. AdamDocherty

    I like the phrase "I am so hungry I could nibble the balls off a low flying seagull" or maybe "I'm so hungry I could chew the crutch out of a lepers undies

  10. junkerdave2

    It's where the phrase "I'm so hungry I could eat the ass end out of a dead rhino" probably evolved from.

    1. Guest

      I vote this the best joke today!
      I laughed my ass off...not quite off, but...butt. hahahahaha

  11. His Forever

    Wow! This is AWESOME! I just love stuff like this.

  12. Shannon Elizabeth Staley

    OK, I am hard to gross me out but this is pretty is, however, a finely crafted documentary, excellent cinematography, good pacing, great content and I learned a lot. But it was thoroughly disgusting...........and morbidly fascinating...........female hienas not only have functioning penises, but they give BIRTH through theirs! No wonder the nervous laughter! Ooof.

  13. Draw Vinette

    That is a great guy documentary! A few years ago I had the great good fortune to find a squirrel that had just died falling out of a neighbors tree.

    I too thought that it would be a fun experiment to see how long it would take the squirrel to decompose, the insects that would visit it and how long it would take. So I put the dead squirrel in the backyard and let natures recycling experiment begin.

    The neighborhood kids (especially the guys) thought it was an equally interesting experiment and eagerly came to visit the dead squirrel each day to see what was going on.

    The women in the neighborhood though had a completely different opinion of the experiment and thought it was the most disgusting thing they had ever seen.

    Once the maggots had moved in and were devouring the squirrel carcass the women moved in and threw it away ruining this fun experiment about recycling in nature.

    So I was quite happy to see that there are other guys who are equally curious about how an animal is recycled by nature and had the resources to film it day and night.

    I was also happy to see two women involved in the documentary although they seemed less interested in the decomposition of the elephant and more interested in the leopards and the lions.

    A great documentary on the inquisitiveness of man when it comes to all aspects of nature.

    1. Guest

      Yeah, don't know what it is with women, they never seem to want to get down and get dirty. (LOL)

    2. Kateye70

      lol, ok, guys, give birth--we'll talk about down and dirty then.

    3. RhovanionGirl

      Please, I know a ton of guys who wouldn't be able to get through this video, and I had to problem with it.

    4. AtheistPunk

      Im a girl and I would definetely find that entertaining. One thing i would have done is take a picture of it each day and then compile them into a short clip ... but I guess women had to be women and clean it all up. Next time she comes home with a croc skin hand bag trow it away ... see how she likes that. Tell her in this house we treat all dead pets fairly.

  14. roger bajaj

    This is truly amazing and interesting documentary. Thanks a lot for sharing this vivid eye opening video.

  15. Jane Haydon

    Thank goodness the first bite was in black and white! Exceptional doc, thankyou so much.

  16. Guest

    I also thought the description made it interesting, i guess i don't have the stomach to follow through. I will believe the ones who liked it!

    1. Guest

      Well I must say my pitbulls loved it I had to watch it twice just for them.

  17. duliz

    Thats an Amazing video guys thats where some of us call home

  18. Guest

    Really an amazing doc!

  19. Guest

    can't watch this...urrrr

    1. Guest

      its working now but u might want to eat dinner first before u watch

    2. Guest


      I meant i tried but had to stop shortly after the butt feasting.