You must have heard that monkeys love to eat bananas. But did you know gorillas and monkeys eat banana peels? So, I was taken aback on finding a gorilla munching on a banana peel.
The caretaker of the gorillas at the local zoo told me that this is the typical eating behavior of many primates.
In this article, I will cover several questions about gorillas eating banana peels.
Gorillas do eat banana peels and they prefer the ones that are ripe because they’re soft, easy to chew, and digestible. However, the green banana peels tend to cause stomach issues for them so they steer clear of it and only seek out ripe bananas.
Why do gorillas eat banana peels?
Gorillas are the largest living primates, and they are pretty intelligent.
As a result, you will find that they sometimes peel the bananas or consume the peels along with the fruit.
It is not expected behavior, but in the wild, gorillas are found to consume both the fruit and the peels.
The primary reason for this is the scarcity of food. Banana peels are pretty nutritious and can satiate the appetite of gorillas.
Hence, they are found to consume the peels along with the fruit.
Do gorillas discard the fruit and consume only the peel?
This is an unusual behavior of the primates. Rarely will a gorilla discard the fruit and consume only the peel.
The fruit is the tastiest part, and the primate will naturally want to consume it.
When a gorilla is bred in captivity, it is taught to peel a banana and consume the fruit inside. Hence, it will naturally eat the flesh inside the peel, not vice versa.
In the wild, you will find that the creature loves to eat the sweet flesh of the ripe bananas.
Therefore, the chances of the primate consuming only the peel and not the fruit inside are also relatively minimum.
Why do gorillas love bananas?
Gorillas are herbivores, meaning they eat mostly vegetarian foods like fruits and vegetables.
Bananas are tropical fruits, and these grow pretty quickly in the hot, tropical forests across the world.
Therefore, you will find different species of bananas growing in tropical forests worldwide.
Moreover, this fruit is packed with nutrients that serve all the nutritional requirements of the gorillas.
According to WebMD, the banana peels themselves have a range of additional nutrients which includes protein, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 & B12 as well as fiber.
This large species of primates is essentially herbivorous and has a giant appetite!
Do bananas form an essential part of the diet of gorillas bred in captivity?
According to the website, http://gorillassp.org/Husbandry/Nutrition, gorillas that are bred in captivity must be given a regular diet of fruits.
For example, mountain gorillas are folivores, meaning they must be given foliage, green vegetables, and fruits.
But to ensure a balanced diet, they are given a steady supply of bananas.
You will find that the gorillas sometimes eat banana peels and fruit. The creature will do it, especially when the fruit is slightly raw and it is difficult to peel the banana.
Can banana peels prove to be toxic to wildlife?
Banana peels can prove toxic to wildlife depending on where they are discarded.
For example, if a banana peel is discarded in a tropical forest, it can decompose and not prove to be dangerous to the animal life there.
But in cold regions such as places near glaciers or tundra regions, banana peels will not decompose.
Therefore, banana peels can have a lasting impact on the environment and prove harmful to the region’s indigenous animals.
What is the favorite fruit of gorillas?
Of the two species of gorillas, the mountain gorilla loves to eat bamboo.
However, the mountain gorilla must look for other plants for sustenance because of their habitat since there is usually a lack of food.
Therefore, you will often find gorillas hunting for ants, grubs, and snails to satiate their hunger.
Given that their natural habitat makes it difficult to come across bananas, they enjoy bananas immensely.
Do monkeys eat banana peels?
According to the website, https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/for-real-though-do-monkeys-actually-eat-bananas monkeys can be given banana peels.
But they will not eat the peel directly.
Usually, monkeys, when bred in captivity, are given banana peel as a part of their feed.
Monkeys love to eat bananas and consume the whole fruit with absolute gusto. But the peels, too, are full of nutrition.
When the creatures are bred in captivity, they must ensure their diet has all the necessary nutrients to help them build a robust immune system.
One of the ways is to add banana peels to supplement their diet.
What are the nutrients in banana that helps the gorillas bred in captivity?
Like the monkeys bred in captivity, when gorillas are bred in captivity, they need to be given adequate nutrition to help them develop a robust immune system.
As their movement is restricted, zookeepers frequently add bananas to their diet to help them grow strong bones.
In addition, bananas are a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.
All of these vitamins and minerals are necessary to help the primate develop a healthy immune system.
Are there any other animals that eat banana peels?
Several animals eat banana peels. For example, cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, rabbits, fish, and zebras can eat banana peels.
When it comes to cattle and pigs, you can be assured that banana peels are mixed with cattle and pig feed to provide the animals with the necessary nutrition to help them build a robust immune system.
In addition, cattle farmers often include banana peels in the animals’ diet to help improve the quality of meat or the milk produced by the cattle.