What do elephants eat and drink?
What do elephants eat and drink? Before we take a look at the food they eat, let us look at how much they should eat and what kind of food can they eat to gather that amount in total. The world’s largest animal eats a lot more than we can imagine every day. They eat a total of somewhere between 150 KG and 300 KG depending on few factors as mentioned below. For this amount of food intake, they require up to 190 liters of water per day. Due to this reason, they are found roaming around water sources every day.
According to elephant facts. To understand the quantity of food they eat we need to answer the question, how much does an elephant weigh? There are African bush elephants weigh up to 6000 KGs as the largest terrestrial animal followed by the Asian elephants that weigh in at 5400 KGs. The baby elephants weigh in at 90 to 121 KGs after the gestation period of around 20 – 22 months or more.
Elephant Food Selection.
Elephants are known to be grazers and browsers as they find it easier to find food to keep them supplied. They eat plants and vegetables of any size, from the grass up to small trees.
Food in Natural habitats.
When these giants roam in the wild, where they belong under natural conditions, they eat mostly grass as they walk and roam around towards water sources. The list includes grass, tree leaves, flowers, wild fruits, twigs, shrubs, bamboo, and bananas.
During the dry season, they eat everything and anything green they can find and also will switch to eatable/chewable woody parts of any plant.
Food in Captivity.
Elephants mainly kept in zoos, elephant rescue facilities are fed with the lot of vegetables and fruits such as lettuce, cabbage, sugar cane, bananas, apples while hay stays as the main food given in large quantities. During some seasons, they even tend to eat Christmas trees.
Food during Pregnancy
Female elephants eat way more food during the 22 months of their pregnancy. Asian elephants take 18 – 21 months for their gestation while African elephants last a little over 22 months.
As Elephants eat a lot of food every day, they grind those large teeth at the back together that results in them being worn off. But unlike other animals they are able to grow new teeth, pushing the old teeth from under and out.