Do Monkeys Eat Oranges? (Explained)

Last updated on October 8th, 2022

When giving fruits to monkeys, you will be amazed to find that they can eat mangoes, apples, bananas, and papayas.

But when it comes to citrus fruits like oranges, you need to be careful because if the fruits are excessively sour, it can interfere with their digestion.

Nevertheless, the zookeeper said monkeys eat oranges. Here are some questions about monkeys eating oranges.

Monkeys do eat oranges and unlike other animals, they don’t have to wait until the fruit drops to the ground to eat it. Monkeys can easily digest oranges because they contain a lot of water and vitamins. Oranges also contain soluble fiber which eliminates toxins from the colon.

Do monkeys love to eat oranges?

The simple answer to the question is yes! Monkeys love to eat oranges.

The only thing you will find when monkeys eat oranges is that they will reject the fruit if it is not sweet.

This is because oranges are citrus fruits, and sometimes these tend to be sour but monkeys have an excellent sense of taste and smell.

Therefore, the creature will reject the fruits outright if you offer oranges that are not sweet but sour or bitter.

Are oranges healthy for monkeys?

monkey eating orange 13082022

Oranges are rich in Vitamin C, necessary to build strong bones and a robust immune system.

Other than that, oranges contain carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber.

Monkeys are bred in captivity and need all of these to develop healthy immune systems.

In addition, monkeys need all these nutrients to stay healthy even in the wild.

However, getting oranges in the wild can be pretty challenging for monkeys.

But when they are bred in captivity, zookeepers often give monkeys oranges to ensure it meets their nutritional requirements.

How are oranges introduced into the diet of a monkey?

Oranges can be introduced into the diet of a captive monkey by offering small pieces of peeled fruit.

But if you want to introduce the fruit to a baby, a monkey, you must be careful.

Orange juice contains phenolic acid that can cause digestive distress.

Hence, you need to give a baby monkey freshly squeezed orange juice.

You can mix this with porridge or other similar food that you offer to the baby monkey and slowly introduce oranges into the diet of a baby monkey.

But you should always consult with a local veterinarian before making any changes in an animal’s diet.

Do monkeys peel oranges before eating the fruit?

The behavior of frugivore monkeys is quite similar to us humans. You will find that they peel bananas before eating the fruit. Similarly, monkeys will peel the oranges before eating the fleshy fruit inside. Monkeys are even capable of discarding the orange seeds.

Hence, if you visit the zoo during animal feeding time, you will find monkeys skillfully peeling oranges and then eating the fruit.

Do monkeys eat orange peels?

A monkey will only eat the flesh of the orange and discard the skin. The creature is quite aware that the skin is sour, bitter, and inedible.

Why do monkeys rub orange peels on their bodies?

Certain monkeys, like the Capuchin monkeys, often rub orange peels to prevent insects like mosquitoes from settling on their bodies.

In addition, scientists mention that orange peels have antimicrobial properties that help prevent several skin problems.

For example, monkeys often rub orange peels in the wild to prevent itches and rashes.

Do frugivore monkeys eat oranges?

Monkeys are either omnivores, herbivores or frugivores. The omnivorous monkeys can survive on plant-based food and an animal-based diet which will consist of eggs, insects, and lizards.

The herbivorous species will eat only foliage and fruits. The frugivore monkeys only eat fruits.

However, all three species of monkeys prefer the fruit but are particularly enjoyed by the frugivore monkeys.

Do monkeys living in the wild eat oranges?

Monkeys living in the wild will eat oranges, but they do so only in the regions where oranges occur naturally, like the rainforests of the South Eastern regions of Asia.

In most parts of the world, oranges are cultivated commercially as seasonal fruit. Hence, the accessibility to oranges is limited.

Moreover, the oranges that grow naturally differ from the oranges that are available commercially.

Can monkeys be a pest to farmers who grow oranges commercially?

Monkeys can be a pest for farmers growing oranges commercially.

For example, if a horde of monkeys attacks an orange orchard, they can reduce the harvest significantly.

This is because the monkeys will not just consume the fruits but also break the branches, chew the leaves, and even destroy the young shoots.

The result can be a significant loss to the farmers.

Hence, farmers often have to take steps like putting up nets or spraying the orange trees with chili or garlic to prevent the monkeys from attacking fruits.

Do monkeys eat all types of citrus fruits?

Monkeys like to eat all types of citrus fruit including oranges, passion fruits, lemons, and dragon fruit.

You will find that the only citrus fruit that the creature is known to avoid are the ones that are bitter or sour.

Monkeys do not like lime or bitter orange. They will avoid such fruits even if they grow in the wild and are readily available.

The lower pH of these fruits gives these the typical bitter or sour taste which the monkeys do not prefer.

Can monkeys be given orange juice?

When you give monkeys bred in captivity orange juice, you need to ensure that it is freshly squeezed. This is because commercially made orange juice contains chemical additives and high sugar content that can harm the monkeys.

Moreover, as the movement of the monkeys is limited, excessive sugar can make the creatures hyperactive, which can prove harmful.

Hence, you must ensure that the orange juice given to monkeys bred in captivity is freshly squeezed without added sugar and other chemicals.

Is there anything to keep in mind while giving monkeys oranges?

When you give monkeys bred in captivity store-bought oranges, the only thing to keep in mind is to ensure that the fruit is entirely organic. 

There should not be any trace of insecticide or pesticide in the fruits because this can cause harm to the monkeys which can lead to digestive distress.

On rare occasions, monkeys have been known to go into toxic shock after consuming oranges with insecticide or pesticide.

Therefore, you should ensure that the fruits are thoroughly washed and completely free of chemicals.

Are there any other animals that like oranges?

Of course! Here is a list of animals that will eat oranges.

Further reading:
National Geographic – Capuchin Monkeys

Scroll to Top