Crime scene investigation is a vital tool when uncovering what really went on prior to a person's untimely death. The recent discovery of a crocodile squashed beneath a dead elephant demonstrated that the same sometimes applies to animals. Sometimes, deceased beasts are found in such mysterious circumstances it can be hard to work out what on Earth went on. Were both parties murdered at the hands of an unknown assailant? Or did they meet their shared fate in the throes of battle? In the case of elephant vs pancake croc, it seems that it was neither.
The grisly scene was happened upon by a guide named Andrew of the Kafunta Safaris Hotel, a Zambian safari in South Luangwa that’s home to two bush camps. It was in their Island Bush Camp that Andrew first saw a dead elephant, but it wasn’t until he went in for a closer look that it became apparent there was a large also dead crocodile stuck underneath.
According to a Facebook post by Kafunta Safaris, park authorities were called in to assess the scene and determine if there had been any human foul play that led to the animals’ deaths. That the elephant still had its tusks could be considered evidence to the contrary, and sure enough their investigations concluded that humans hadn’t played a part in their demise.
So, how on Earth did a crocodile come to find itself crushed to death beneath the corpse of an elephant? “[The park authorities] suspect the elephant was injured and the croc was following it, when the elephant collapsed while trying to climb the bank of the river. Squashing the croc,” wrote Kafunta Safaris. “All this made for a huge and happy meal for dozens of vultures.”
A similarly bizarre crime scene was reported by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife in 2020 after a bald eagle was found floating face down in Highland Lake in Bridgton, like the opening scene of an ornithological murder mystery. There were no witnesses to the eagle’s demise, but the suspect proved to be a deceased loon chick found close to the scene of the crime. Amazingly, this small waterfowl had managed to pierce the bald eagle's heart with its slender beak, bringing the ferocious predator to a swift end even though the loon itself had already suffered fatal injuries. An eye for an eye may leave the whole world blind, but a pointy, almost-dead-loon-beak leaves everybody face down in the lake.
[H/T: Live Science]