Animals That Eat Bananas! (11 Examples + Pictures)

Last updated on November 5th, 2022

You’ve already seen monkeys peel off and gobble up entire bananas as if they were a piece of cake! Well, monkeys are just one of the numerous animals who love to feed on this delicious fruit.

The banana plant is a famous fruit consumed by innumerable living creatures across the world, including us.

Animals that eat bananas:

  • Elephants
  • Fruit Bats
  • Birds
  • Squirrels
  • Chipmunks
  • Rabbits
  • Deer
  • Rats
  • Raccoons
  • Gorillas
  • Ants
  • Sloths

Even banana peels with their high fiber content are used as an alternative food option for livestock in order for them to obtain additional nutrition.

Most animals eat bananas because they find them sweet and delicious. In fact, the fruit is highly nutritious for all animal species.

List of animals that eat bananas

1. Elephants

elephant eating bananas

Elephants are attractive mammals that feed primarily on twigs, grass, shrubs, wild fruits, bamboo shoots, as well as bananas.

An elephant’s diet may also include plant roots, tree bark, and even soil.

And like many other animals, these intelligent creatures can peel their own bananas. Besides, elephants spend a considerable amount of time gathering water and food.

As you may have already seen on Animal Planet, elephants can knock down entire trees just to eat the foliage and other plant parts. 

Curious to learn more about elephants eating bananas? Check out that article for more details

2. Fruit Bats

fruit bat

Bats, especially fruit bats, will chew on any fruit they come across, and that includes bananas.

For bats, every fruit is delicious, and they’ll chew it into a wet pulp.

Although most bats eat insects, it has been observed that some bats prefer bananas and mangoes above all the other fruits they consume.

In addition to eating bananas, fruit bats act as agents to pollinate wild bananas and also to disperse their seeds.

3. Birds

bird eating banana

There are several bird species that regularly eat bananas, including blackbirds, jackdaws, robins, pied flycatchers, stonechats, willow warblers, starlings, and whitethroats.

Bananas are healthy for various bird species as they contain fiber and essential nutrients such as vitamin B, vitamin A, magnesium, and iron.

Just a small amount of fiber obtained from bananas is enough to keep them active. Also, fruit plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy digestive system in birds.

This is why researchers have rarely seen birds having difficulty releasing their bowels!

Although this essential food crop is healthy for birds, you’ll soon find that not all birds can feed on bananas, even if you try various methods of feeding them this fruit.

For instance, it doesn’t matter whether you allow your pet bird to eat bananas directly or use them as an ingredient in some other meals. 

If your bird is okay with bananas, you should feed them this fruit in small quantities once or twice a week to avoid any major side effects from showing up.

Some bird species prefer eating bananas in the mashed form as it makes it easier to gulp down the fruit.

Other common birds that eat bananas include crows and geese.

Bananas are a staple food for geese so it’s no wonder that they find the inner portion of this fruit absolutely irresistible and healthy.

There are several vitamins in bananas that are excellent for crows. These include vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium.

Although bananas are more nutritious for geese than bread, experts advise against the idea of feeding geese with bananas, as they’re more likely to become heavily dependent on human beings for their basic survival needs.

An interesting fact is that they are bird species that feed on banana peels rather than the inside portion.

However, banana peels aren’t a good food option for most birds since they’re difficult to chew and contain cellulose and tannins, which makes them hard to digest.

Moreover, banana skins can also be harmful to birds or other animals as the peel itself may contain pesticides.

These toxic chemicals can further lead to digestive problems and other health conditions, which may become fatal at times.

4. Squirrels

squirrel eating bananas from a basket in a tree

If you want to make friends with these cute little squirrels, give them bananas. But you must feed them bananas in small amounts. 

According to the Avian Animal Hospital, 2 slices of bananas every day will be more than enough for squirrels.

However, one disadvantage of this fruit is that you can’t feed it to squirrels on a regular basis.

Bananas provide squirrels with potassium, protein, low-fat content, and other essential vitamins.

The high levels of sugar content in bananas shouldn’t be overlooked since squirrels are too small to be able to effectively digest this fruit on a regular basis without any adverse effects on their body.

5. Chipmunks

chipmunk eating banana 10072022

Chipmunks are small rodents with visible stripes on their bodies, and they’re a kind of tree squirrel. These rodents are omnivores and are very clean animals.

Needless to say, a chipmunk’s diet can include a wide range of food items, including seeds, insects, nuts, bird eggs, grasses, worms, grains, and raw vegetables and fruits.

The good news is that dried bananas are one of the most nutritious foods for chipmunks as they’re a rich source of potassium.

However, too many bananas may lead to obesity in chipmunks in the long run.

So you should consider feeding them this tasty fruit in smaller amounts or twice a week.

Here is an article that goes further on the topic – do chipmunks eat bananas?

6. Rabbits

Rabbits must be given minimal quantities of bananas to eat, as little as one slice only.

When rabbits overeat this fruit, it can affect the digestive system of rabbits due to the presence of high starch and sugar levels.

Did you know that rabbits may even develop life-threatening health issues if they eat bananas for a prolonged time period?

One such condition is gastrointestinal stasis (or GI stasis), a condition in which the passage of food through the gastrointestinal tract is slowed down.

7. Deer

Deer normally include a wide variety of food in their diets such as bananas, berries, young shoots, bark, twigs, grass, and other vegetation. Deer also love to eat bananas since they’re tasty and sweet!

In fact, deer love bananas so much that they can even get attracted to rotten bananas. This is why these creatures often attack yards with banana trees to enjoy a healthy meal!

Since deer don’t possess upper incisor teeth, they’ll have a lot of trouble eating certain foods but since bananas are extremely soft, deer have no problems chewing them.

What’s more, bananas are way healthier for deer since the fruit is rich in fiber and vitamins. But overconsumption of bananas may cause digestive issues for deer.

The good news is that deer can easily eat and digest peels, especially ripe banana peels since their bodies are built to break down cellulose through the microorganisms that dwell inside of them.

Interested in learning more about deer eating bananas? Check out that article for more information.

8. Rats

rat eating banana

Rats are yet another category of omnivorous rodents and their diet includes almost anything! So, technically speaking, bananas are okay for rats or mice to feed on.

Now, if you’re wondering whether you can allow your pet mouse to eat banana peels, then you should ensure that the peel is free from all harmful pesticides.

Wash the bananas thoroughly to remove all such toxic chemicals.

Better yet, consider grinding the inner portion of the banana or the banana skin into smaller chunks to make them easier for your little pet rodent to consume.

However, you shouldn’t feed rats banana peels every day as it can lead to stomach upset.

Still curious? We wrote an entire article on this subject matter and you can check it out here – Can rats eat bananas?

9. Raccoons

raccoons eating bananas

Raccoons, too, are omnivorous creatures that feed on meat, plants, and fruits, including the inner portions of bananas as well.

Also, raccoons can eat banana peels as they’re able to extract the nutrients they need from the peel even though they can’t digest the cellulose that’s found in banana skins.

However, when raccoons eat banana peels on a regular basis, it can lead to stomach aches, digestive issues, or even diarrhea.

10. Gorillas

gorilla eating banana peel 18062022

As we can imagine very well, Gorillas feed voraciously on bananas, along with many other common fruits like apples, mangoes, guavas, etc.

In the wild, however, gorillas can eat over 100 different fruit species that they ever find in their habitat.

Now let’s break one common misconception! We’ve all seen monkeys and gorillas eat bananas in large quantities. It’s true that gorillas eat wild bananas, but certainly not to the huge extent that most of us believe.

Primates, a group of mammals including monkeys, lemurs, gorillas, and apes find this fruit tasty.

Here is a post we wrote about gorillas eating banana peels. You can check that out for more information

11. Ants

ant eating banana 25062022

Insects like ants naturally flock to bananas because of their sweetness.

Bananas are also fleshy, which makes it easy for ants to penetrate the fruit with their mandibles.

But ants are opportunistic feeders and will eat bananas especially when there is a lack of other sources of food. 

Interested in learning more about ants eating bananas? We wrote an entire article on the subject matter which you can check out over there.

12. Sloths

sloth hanging from tree branch 12022022

Sloths are herbivores and spend most of their lives in trees. While they may enjoy eating ripe bananas, they usually prefer leaves, buds, and other tender shoots.

Aside from the food they eat on a regular basis, they will turn to fruits when there isn’t any other food available.

Green bananas are particularly unpalatable to sloths, so they’ll typically avoid eating them.

We wrote more on the topic of sloths eating bananas and you can read more on it by checking out that article.

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