If you are into superfoods, you must have heard of the benefits of avocado, but what surprised me was when a friend suggested I give my pet squirrel avocado as part of her diet.
I was taken aback because I have heard of suggestions like nuts, vegetables, and even lettuce to be included in the diet of my pet squirrel but avocado?
After I did a little research on it, I learned that avocado is rich in folate and dietary fiber, which is healthy for many animals like squirrels, monkeys, and cats.
So to help others like me, I decided to make a list of animals that eat avocado, and some of these creatures are as follows:
Animals that eat avocado:
- Fruit bats
List of animals that eat avocado:
If you have an avocado tree in your backyard, you will find that squirrels often snack on the fruit.
Squirrels find the flesh of avocado to be quite delicious, and they can significantly reduce an avocado harvest.
Therefore, farmers growing avocados commercially have to take precautions to protect their harvest.
However, if you have a pet squirrel, it is a good idea to give your pet avocados as the fruit is rich in dietary fibers, Vitamin C, and micronutrients, all of which are essential for your healthy pet.
In addition, avocadoes are also rich in Folic Acid and Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential to building good eyesight, skin, fur, and bone health; thus, if you want to help your pets build a strong and healthy immune system.
2. Fruit bats
Fruit bats or flying foxes eat different fruits like bananas, avocados, mangoes, and even dates.
These creatures are often considered an annoyance for most farmers growing avocados commercially.
Fruit bats tend to nest in trees that have heavy foliage like mangoes and old ficus trees.
But they can be found in hordes flying and gliding around avocado trees once the trees begin to fruit.
These creatures will feast on the mature and un-mature fruits of the avocado tree and can significantly reduce the harvest of a single plantation.
They love to eat pulpy fruit, and avocados fit the bill, making it one of fruit bats’ favorite.
Sloths are gentle creatures that spend most of their time hanging upside down on tree branches.
You will find that their diet mainly consists of tender shoots, buds, and leaves, but when bred in captivity, they are often given a healthy meal of fruits that can include avocadoes.
The present-day sloths are descendants of the ‘megafauna’ Lestodon, which were giant dinosaurs and weighed nearly two to four tons.
These giant ancient sloths would consume avocadoes whole and help in dispersing the seeds.
The size of sloths reduced, and the avocadoes that we get today have also changed with evolution.
But sloths today can still consume avocadoes in moderation; however, you have to remove the seed and give it only as a snack.
If you have a pet cat, you can give it avocadoes to help it build a robust immune system.
Avocadoes can provide your pet with an excellent supply of amino acids, Vitamins E, A, and B6.
These nutrients are necessary to help your pet cat have healthy skin and hair.
Although the immune systems and dietary requirements of cats and squirrels are pretty different, they share similarities: both animals have thick fur coats.
So avocadoes have all the necessary nutrition to help animals have healthy fur.
But when you give cats avocadoes, ensure that you do so in moderation because the fruit has high-fat content, which can cause your pet to have some health issues.
Possums like squirrels love to eat avocadoes, and they are known for being dangerous pests on an avocado farm.
These unique marsupials are opportunistic scavengers that will rummage through your garbage, and they can decimate an entire avocado orchard.
Moreover, possums do not differentiate between young fruits. Therefore, farmers often take extra precautions to protect their harvest against possum attacks.
Since avocadoes do not ripen on trees, you can cover the young fruit with paper bags to protect your harvest from possum attacks.
This will help mature the fruit, and you can ripen it later.
Deer will eat different foliages, and the avocado tree’s young leaves are no different.
But as the tree matures, the foliage becomes unpalatable for the deer, and the creature will tend to avoid it.
When it comes to the fruit, the deer will eat it after it has fallen to the ground.
When deer are bred in captivity, they can be given avocadoes, but checking if the creature can digest the fruit is essential.
It is best to cut the fruit, remove the seed and then give it to the deer.
Even though deer consume hard food in the wild, such as tree bark and even twigs, you should give bite-sized pieces to deer that are bred in captivity.
Raccoons are scavengers and omnivores, which gives rise to the idea that these creatures can eat almost anything.
But there exists a divided opinion regarded whether raccoons can eat avocados or not.
In most cases, raccoons avoid chocolates, garlic, onion, and avocados.
But there have also been cases when raccoons have been known to attack the young fruit on avocado trees.
This is usually the case when the availability of food is scarce, and raccoons have no option but to consume small amounts of avocados.
Monkeys eat all types of fruits, and they prefer pulpy fruits like mangoes, avocados, bananas, and papayas.
You will find that monkeys are pretty deft in consuming the fruit’s flesh and discarding the pith or the seed of the fruit.
In the case of avocadoes, they will consume the flesh or the oily layer of the fruit and discard the seed.
Although you will rarely find monkeys roaming in the wild in North America, when bred in captivity, it is not uncommon to find these creatures being fed avocados.