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Elephants rarely get cancer. As a matter of fact the large mammals have a 4.8% mortality rate from the deadly disease, while humans have a mortality rate upwards of 25% from Cancer. Researchers think that one of the reasons is that Elephants are born with 20 copies of a tumor suppressor gene called p53. Humans are born with only two copies of the gene. The gene kills off cells that try to divide and grow.