Elephants Do Eat Bamboo. Here’s Why!

Last updated on September 3rd, 2022

Have you ever seen an elephant eat? You will be surprised by the amount of food that these massive pachyderms can consume.

But what surprised me was when I came across videos of elephants eating bamboo. I always thought elephants eat foliage, green leaves, bark, and shrubs.

So I thought the lack of food drove the elephants to eat the bamboo plant. But a zoologist told me that elephants also enjoy eating bamboo shoots.

Elephants do eat bamboo because they’re herbivorous animals but they don’t actively seek it out, they’ll consume it whenever they come across it. Starchy foods such as bamboo provide energy, aid with digestion, and are rich in fiber as well as various vitamins and minerals which are essential for elephants.

Do elephants eat bamboo or just chew it?

Elephants have 26 teeth in their mouth which when combined with their jaw strength are able to easily chew and digest bamboo without issues.

Do elephants like to eat bamboo?

elephant eating bamboo 19062022

Elephants consume grasses, small plants, bushes, fruit, twigs, tree bark, and roots.

But they are known to consume tree bark to help them get an adequate amount of roughage.

In the case of bamboo, the young shoots provide roughage similar to tree barks.

Elephants are known to scrape off the bark of trees with their tusks and then eat these.

With bamboos, elephants can eat the young shoots as these often behave like twigs, only more in circumference.

Are elephants bred in captivity given bamboos?

When elephants are bred in captivity, it is essential to take care of their diet.

Zookeepers and mahouts need to take care of the creature’s diet because the movement of the giant pachyderm is restricted.

Hence, you will find that sometimes elephants are given a variety of bamboo along with their daily quota of fruits and vegetables.

This helps them get the necessary roughage and provides them with any nutrient that might be missing from their daily diet.

Is the loss of habitat responsible for elephants consuming bamboo?

Deforestation and the expansion of cities are the primary causes of the loss of habitat for elephants.

These giant creatures require a significant amount of space and food supply to survive.

But the loss of habitat is not a cause for elephants eating bamboo. Elephants love to eat grass, and bamboo is a type of grass.

Moreover, bamboo provides the creature with the necessary amount of roughage. Hence, you will find elephants enjoying their meal of bamboo.

Are there any particular species of bamboo that elephants love to eat?

You will find that compared to the African elephants, the Asian elephants are more likely to enjoy eating tender bamboo because of the availability of this particular variety of grass in the region.

Among the several species of bamboo, the Asian elephant loves to eat the Mai Roak Bamboo.

An Asian elephant can consume all parts of the Mai Roak Bamboo, including the roots, shoots, and leaves.

What nutrition content of bamboo shoots makes them suitable for elephants?

Bamboo, especially bamboo shoots, are highly nutritious and contain a good amount of fiber, copper, and vitamins B6 and E. 

However, bamboo itself is pretty low in calories.

When bred in captivity, elephants are usually given bamboo shoots specifically to help them build a robust immune system.

In the wild, elephants can depend on nearly two hundred species of vegetables, fruits, and foliage to satiate their hunger and meet their nutrient content.

But when bred in captivity, the high nutrition content of bamboo shoots makes this ideal for elephants.

Can elephants survive without bamboo?

Elephants can survive without bamboo since they’re known to consume other food that is readily available and widely distributed in the wild such as fruits like apples, and bananas, along with tree bark, grasses as well as leaves.

Do elephants eat trees?

For example, according to https://senecaparkzoo.org/do-the-elephants-really-eat-trees/ elephants can chew off the bark of maple and willow trees.

They can even chew the trees’ medium- and small-sized branches along with the foliage.

This can result in the trees becoming relatively weak over time, and you can say that elephants eat trees.

Do elephants eat sticks?

When you think of elephants eating bamboo, the first thing that will cross your mind is that elephants eat hard things like twigs.

Elephants do eat sticks because they have strong jaws and teeth capable of mashing sharp and trying things like the twig or bark of a tree.

Therefore, you will often find elephants eating sticks, twigs, and other similar items. Elephants usually eat twigs or bark of plants to satisfy their requirement for roughage.

What is the favorite food of elephants?

According to the website https://www.fao.org/3/ae943e/ae943e07.htm grass and bamboo feature among the favorite food of elephants.

Bamboo is a type of grass, and since elephants love to eat grass, they will enjoy snacking on bamboo, especially the young shoots.

Unfortunately, the tough bamboo plants are no longer edible to the creature. But elephants will venture into bamboo groves in the wild for young shoots.

Is there any food that you cannot give elephants?

Elephants are herbivores, and they survive entirely on a plant-based diet. Therefore, these creatures cannot consume anything animal-based.

Is there any other animal that eats bamboo?

The giant panda is the only animal that solely survives on a bamboo-based diet. Ninety percent of this creature’s diet consists of bamboo shoots.

Giant pandas can consume twelve to fifteen kilograms of bamboo roots, shoots, and leaves daily.

But elephants prefer a varied diet in which bamboos can be a supplementary part of it. In the wild, elephants will not actively look for bamboo forests.

However, if they come across one, the creature will explore it in search of food.

Here is a list of animals that eat bamboo

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