Do Elephants Eat Bananas? (And Banana Peels?)

Elephant species are known to be huge eater herbivores. They are incapable of digesting meat that is why it consumes mostly a variety of plants. It includes fruits and vegetables with a high nutritional value and is considered high energy-producing food. 

Do elephants eat bananas? Yes, elephants do eat bananas. In fact, these mammals love bananas so much. They could even eat the entire fruit, including its peel, so long as it is ripe and can be digested by their body. 

It is one of the most common treats given to them and is very suitable for sick elephants, pregnant, and elephants doing hard work. 

Elephants are sweet-tooth mammals. They are fond of eating sugary food such as fruits, and one of them is bananas. 

Bananas are rich in carbohydrates and calories that will provide elephants the high energy that it needs. With proper and enough amounts, it can suffice their body’s needs.

This fruit can be an excellent inclusion for their diet. But fruits like bananas are not ideal to become a staple food for the greater its quantity; the lesser is its nutritional benefits.

Here is the reason why elephants love bananas and their peels, and what are the other varieties of fruits that they can consume to their body

Can Elephants Eat Bananas?

Elephants eat fruits, including ripe bananas. They love it so much. As early as six to eight months, these large mammals start to eat soft and easily digestible food.

Fruits are part of this mammal’s regular diet. Bananas are the most common treat sold and given by tourists, especially in tourist camps or zoos. It is also provided to them as food during training.

Aside from the banana fruit, they can also eat banana tree stalks. These stalks are rich in water and fiber.

When transporting elephants, it can be a great source of water which their body needs. Compared to buckets of water, the banana stalk is more convenient and easier to carry.

However, these fruits like bananas can be prone to contamination by various chemicals like fertilizers, herbicides, etc., especially those served at the zoo.

But in the wild, their natural food includes bananas free from chemical contaminants and are the best food for these mammals.


Do Elephants Eat Banana Peels?

Elephants can eat banana peels. These are not poisonous. As a matter of fact, these banana peelings are packed with nutrients and are edible.

In the wild, elephants can eat wild bananas. These mammals enjoy eating the whole fruit, including the skin. They even love eating twigs and tree barks.

For captive elephants in the zoo, they enjoy being fed by a tourist. However, they also enjoy swallowing the banana whole as much as they enjoy the peeled ones.

How Many Bananas Can Elephants Eat?

It is expected with this mammal’s big size that it could eat a lot of food. This large mammal can consume food in an average of 16-18 hours a day. In the wild, they will constantly look for food and spend most of the time eating.

This animal can eat an average of 150-160 kilograms of food in a single day. In terms of water intake, they could drink an average of 40-45 liters a day. The amount of food that elephants are eating also depends on their habitat and their season.

On a daily basis, a captive elephant can eat approximately 66 pounds of banana. Roughly, it would take at least three medium bananas to make a pound. A hungry elephant would be delighted to eat a bunch of these bananas.

Bananas are a good source of energy that will help them sustain themselves. Elephants in the wild usually move 15-30 kilometers per day. Given its heavyweight and the fact that it can only digest 40% of its total food intake, it will require a sufficient amount of food to survive.

elephant eating banana

Can You Feed Bananas To Elephants?

Yes, you can feed bananas to elephants, especially in the zoo or tourist camps. Fruits became a regular food in the zoo for these mammals. Bananas are one because it is easy to store and to hold in hand.

Many guests expressed their excitement the moment they fed this humongous animal. Some guests become fond of them giving a peeled banana. On the other hand, elephants also do seem to enjoy being fed.

These bananas are one of their favorites. It is commonly given to them as a delicacy or a treat after tiring training. However, it may not provide them with the combination of nutrients that it requires with significant quantities.

What Other Fruits Do Elephants Eat?

Elephants love to eat anything sweet and sugary. Aside from bananas, elephants also love to eat a variety of ripe fruits. It includes berries, melons, mango, and pineapples.

These sweet and sugary fruits are great for exhausted elephants at work.

In some countries, this mammal started to develop a fondness for oranges. They also love to eat sweet aromatic bael fruit.

Elephants are also known to eat a whole wood apple and come out to their body still intact. The reason behind this is that when digestion takes place, the enzyme present in the elephant’s stomach dilutes the inside of this fruit.

For zoo elephants, they are fed based on their body mass index. There’s a variety of fruits included in their diet to supply their body’s daily needs.

banana in trunk


In summary, elephants feed entirely on plants, leaves, twigs, fruits, and the like. They enjoyed snacking a lot on trees and bushes.

This large mammal needs to supply its body food rich in high energy to sustain its daily functioning. Fruits like bananas are one of their sources of energy.

It is also their favorite treat after long tiring training. In the zoo, bananas are also known for feeding elephants. A lot of tourists enjoy this activity.

Aside from bananas, elephants would also love to eat ripe, sweet, and soft fruits that their body can easily digest.

Like any other animal may it be in the zoo or the wild, they still need to achieve the right amount of food and its nutrients to function well.

People grow a fondness for these elephants. There are many fun and unique facts that they loved about elephants, just like peeling the bananas or eating them with skin. These are a few of the many incredible things this mammal can do.


Image credits – Canva

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I'm David, and safari has been my passion since I was a little boy - I grew up in South Africa. I love to help spread knowledge about safari, so let me know if you have any questions. Read more