Jumbo died at a railroad classification yard in St. Thomas, Ontario, where he was crushed by a locomotive. Barnum afterwards told the story that Jumbo died saving a young circus elephant, Tom Thumb, from being hit by the locomotive, but other witnesses did not support this.
Many metallic objects were found in the elephant's stomach, including pennies, nickels, dimes, keys, and rivets.
Jumbo's skeleton was donated to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The elephant's heart was sold to Cornell University. Jumbo's hide was stuffed by William J. Critchley and Carl Akeley, both of Ward's Natural Science, and the mounted specimen traveled with Barnum's circus for a number of years. In 1889, Barnum donated the stuffed Jumbo to Tufts University, where it was displayed until destroyed by a fire in 1975, coincidentally a fate that befell many of Barnum's exhibits during his own lifetime.
The great elephant's ashes are kept in a 14-ounce Peter Pan Crunchy Peanut Butter jar in the office of the Tufts athletic director, while his taxidermied tail, removed during earlier renovations, resides in the holdings of the Tufts Digital Collections and Archives. A statue of an elephant, dubbed "Jumbo", was purchased from an amusement park and placed on the Tufts campus after the fire. Jumbo became the university's mascot, and remains such to this day.