Elephant a family lover Animal Elephants have been known to die of broken hearts if a mate dies. They refuse to eat and will lay down, shedding tears until they starve to death. They refuse all human help. Scientists are beginning to believe that animals do have emotionsand that their feelings may be more intense and unfiltered than our own. Emotion rises from the old brain, the limbic system, which birds and reptiles as well as dogs, humans, and other mammals share.