What do elephants eat?
Anyone who has ever watch the elephants while eating, will never use the term “seizure” for ingestion of elephants.
The elephants eat in peace, where they prepare every bite palatable.
Elephants live on vegetarian fodder. Wild elephants in Africa and Asia eat grass, branches and roots.
The staple food of the elephants in the circus and in the zoo however consists of hay, straw and branches. They get also a little bit of vegetables, fruit, bread and a lot of water. Additionally they get fresh-cut grass in summer.
Since the zoo elephants mainly eat dry food, they also have to drink more water than their wild relatives.
How much water does an elephant drink?
Elephants, whose main diet consists of hay and straw, have to again take in the water lost in the process of drying the grass. That is why a zoo or circus elephant drinks around 100 to 150 litres of water daily.
Wild elephants, who eat primarily grass and branches, need to drink substantially less water.
How much water fits in a trunk?
When drinking, elephants suck up to 8 litres of water into their trunk, and then blow it into their mouths.
Water is also very important in daily hygiene and when playing in a wallow or basin.
The daily fodder consumption of a fully-grown elephant in a zoo looks more or less as follows:
3 kg of bran, which is soaked in lukewarm water and enriched with table salt, vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
During the day:
- As many branches as possible. The breaking up of the branches into bite-sized portions is a good occupation for the elephants. The molars are scuffed by the food of branches. Moreover the branches are suitable as scratching tools and fly whisks.
Main meal in the evening:
- 25 kg of hay
- 10 kg of straw
- 10 – 15 kg of carrots, beetroots or feeding turnips
- Additionally 3 times a week 6 kg of fruits, primarily apples, and 3 kg of vegetable, such as fennel, celery and lee
Elephants are bad feed recyclers. Approximately 40 to 50% of the food ingested leaves the body undigested. This makes the sparrows happy, who search the manure immediately for grains and other remains.
What do elephants like to eat most?
Elephants love very much bananas and grape-sugar sweets. So they get these delicacies as a reward after the training or when they – like almost always – are particularly well-behaved.