What Do Elephants Eat?


What Do Elephants Eat?

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There is probably no need to introduce elephants. They are notorious because they are the biggest land creatures. The African bush elephant, African forest elephant, and Asian elephant are the three primary species of elephant.

These lovely beasts may grow up to 11 feet tall, have a body mass of up to 7.6 tons, and live to be up to 70 years old. Elephants need a lot of food and water to be hydrated and healthy, as you might expect.

What Do Elephants Eat?

What Do Elephants Eat?

Here is a brief list of the principal foods that elephants prefer to consume:


Elephants are capable of going for extended periods without drinking. They can endure seasons of drought thanks to their robustness. They do, however, need to drink a lot of water every day to keep healthy.

An elephant drinks between 68.4 and 98.8 liters of water every day. If an adult male is really thirsty, he can consume up to 212 liters of water in less than five minutes.

Elephants also enjoy bathing in mud or swimming. Their skin is more resistant to infestations from insects and other pests when they roll around in dirt.


One of the main sources of food for elephants is grass. A wide range of grass species, including buffelgrass, pangolagrass, kleingrass, weeping lovegrass, napiergrass, and many more, will be consumed by them. They will eat these plants’ roots, branches, and grass leaves.

Elephants kept in captivity are also willing to eat hay, straw, and branches, although under these circumstances they will need additional food.

Small plants and bushes

In addition to eating a range of minor plant species, these enormous creatures also like to consume shrubs. Elephants will use their long trunks to carefully choose edible leaves, but at times of drought, they are not averse to eating bush branches.


Elephants will use their long tusks to dig out tree roots. Tree roots are an important source of nutrients for elephants, and they frequently have a lot of moisture, which keeps them hydrated in stressful situations.

Almost any non-poisonous tree or bush root will be eaten by them.

Tree twigs and barks

These enormous beasts have teeth that are capable of crushing twigs. They take pleasure in ripping bark in strips as well. Because it is rich in calcium and roughage, which aids in improved digestion, tree bark is one of their preferred dietary sources.

Fruits and vegetables

Elephants are given a lot of fruits as a supplement at zoos and animal parks to help keep them healthy.

They enjoy eating apples and bananas a lot, and they’ll also eat pears, melons, pineapples, and other fruits.

Additionally, a wide variety of vegetables, including carrots, celery, parsley, lettuce, cabbage, kale, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and beets, are fed to elephants.

Diet Variations

Almost any kind of savannah food is edible to elephants. It is precisely this adaptable diet that allows them to endure in challenging circumstances. In harsh situations, they can exhibit a wide variety of diets.

Elephants’ love of marula fruits is one of the most well-known dietary differences. Elephants may become inebriated if they eat too many marulas, which ferment when exposed to the sun for an extended period of time.

Do elephants eat peanuts?

One of the most widespread myths about elephants is that they enjoy eating peanuts. In reality, it’s unlikely that elephants will come across peanuts in their native habitat. Yes, they can eat these things, but it’s unlikely that they’ll come across peanuts. When elephants became a popular attraction in zoos and circuses, this myth got its start.

How to Feed Elephants

How to Feed Elephants

Elephants that have been tamed or domesticated enjoy accepting food gifts from human hands.

However, feeders must be extremely cautious around these mammals in the wild. They are enormous, and the dominant males can be rather violent. Elephant feeds are typically distributed on feeding areas in the wild.

Elephants are very unlikely to become aggressive against feeders after they become acclimated to regular feeding routines.

How Much Do Elephants Eat?

These 7-ton beasts have a fairly robust appetite. 100 to 270 kg of feed can be consumed daily by an adult African elephant. Tree bark is a crucial component of elephant diets because it aids with digestion. Elephants wouldn’t be able to properly digest food without bark.

For the first few months, young elephants or calves will only eat from their mothers.

They are permitted to consume three gallons of milk every day. They start consuming plants in addition to milk when they are four months old.

Elephant calves are able to remain close to their moms for a long time, and many do continue to consume milk for up to ten years.

What Do Baby Elephants eat?

Elephant calves are young animals. After birth, calves exclusively consume their mothers’ milk for the first four months. Calves start tasting and savoring plants, such as grass and leaves, at four months of age.

Calves start to learn how to eat and drink using their trunks between the ages of 6 and 8 months. Elephant calves are fairly adept at utilizing their trunks by the time they are a year old, and they can eat a variety of foods, including leaves, grass, fruits, vegetables, and thin branches.

Long after they have learnt to eat, baby elephants will continue to drink from their moms.

For up to ten years, they will continue to consume milk.

Raising orphaned elephants can be very expensive. For up to 24 hours a day, keepers must be nearby to prevent stressed and lonely calves. Most often, co-sleeping with orphans is important to keep them from experiencing mental distress.

Every three hours, kids are given milk bottles and specialized milk formulas to drink. Additionally, they require a lot of extra attention, activity, and toys to keep them happy; otherwise, their development and appetite may start to deteriorate.

What Do Wild Elephants Eat?

Elephants can only eat what is available to them in their natural environment while they are in the wild. Although they do favor particular foods like grass, flowers, wild fruits, tree leaves, tree bark, bamboo, and more, elephants will eat just about anything that grows on the savannah when the going gets tough.

Any kind of plant may be included, and they are content to eat the entire plant, including the leaves, fruits, seeds, twigs, bark, and roots.

Do Elephants Eat Any Meat?

Elephants never eat any kind of meat. They lack the body systems necessary to digest fatty and meaty tissues. They pass out 85% of the food they eat undigested. Additionally, they have difficulty chewing and consuming any type of meat due to their long trunks and the positioning of their mouths.

When threatened, however, elephants will kill both humans and other animals. They have a strong sense of self-defense and strong emotions.

They are capable of killing both humans and animals when they are upset or angry.

What Food Do African Elephants Eat?

With the exception of bamboo, which is uncommon in Africa, African elephants will eat the same fundamental foods as Asian elephants. They will eat leaves, grass, twigs, tree bark, and tree roots in addition to any plant that grows in the savannah. Additionally, they relish eating organic fruits like figs, marulas, and others.

How Much Does An Elephant Eat A Day?

An adult elephant often eats quite a bit of food each day. They need 100–250 kg of feed per day. They require 68.4 to 98.8 liters of water daily yet have a 15-minute water consumption limit of 212 liters.

However, elephants are very resilient. In extreme circumstances, they can go for extended periods of time without drinking or eating.

They will survive during this time on their fat reserves.

Do Elephants Eat Berries?

Sweet fruits are quite popular with elephants. They will happily eat almost any berry they come upon in the wild. Although elephants are fully capable of choosing those little fruit one by one with their trunks, they are usually much more likely to seize and eat a complete bush than than concentrating on picking individual berries.

Elephants are amazing animals, but they are also in danger of extinction. Since they require a lot of food and water to survive, keeping them can be very expensive.

Additionally, people hunt these animals for their ivory. The few remaining elephants must receive the necessary love and care, as well as the proper nutrition, in order to maintain their health and vitality.

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Do elephants have high IQ?

Elephants are thought to have similar problem-solving skills to dolphins, and many experts believe that elephant intelligence is on par with that of cetaceans. According to an ABC Science report from 2011, “elephants [are] as smart as chimps, [and] dolphins.”

What animal has highest IQ?


Are elephants the most emotional animal?

Highly compassionate creatures One of the species with the highest levels of empathy is the elephant.

Why are elephants so meaningful?

Elephants are fundamentally linked to rich biodiversity and assist in maintaining savanna and woodland environments for other species. Elephants play a key role in ecosystem engineering. They provide passageways for other animals in densely forested terrain.

Why are elephants so special?

Elephants are among the very few creatures that can recognize themselves in a mirror. They are highly intelligent animals with complex emotions, sentiments, compassion, and self-awareness. An elephant’s pregnancy lasts for 22 months. That is the longest pregnancy of any mammal at approximately two years! Aug 8, 2022


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author