What Do Elephants Eat? (Elephant Diet and Favorite Food)

In this article, we’ll answer the question:

“What do elephants eat?”

First, you’ll find a short summary of what elephants eat in nature, then get a list of an elephant’s favorite foods that make up a typical elephant diet. And finally, answers to common questions about elephant feeding habits and nutrition.

Elephants are herbivores with only three living species: the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant, and the Asian elephant. These mammals are an informal grouping in the family Elephantidae within the Proboscidea order.

What do elephants eat

What Do Elephants Eat?

Elephants eat hay, a wide variety of plants, roots, grasses, fruit, and bark. An elephant’s diet is determined by the availability of vegetation in its habitat during a given season

Elephant Diet (Favorite Food)

  • Bark
  • Bushes
  • Grass
  • Hay
  • Plants
  • Roots
  • Shrubs
  • Twigs
  • Fruit

How Often Does an Elephant Eat?

Elephants eat as often as 12-18 hours per day. An elephant spends 80% of the day feeding to get enough energy from available vegetation to support its weight.

How Much Do Elephants Eat Per Day?

Elephants eat up to 300 pounds of food per day to support their massive bodies. An elephant will eat a variety of foods in the wild such as grasses, plants, bushes, fruit, twigs, tree bark, and roots to supply enough nutrition for daily survival.

How Long Can Elephants Live Without Food?

Elephants can last 4 days without food until it dies. However, elephants can survive on a variety of plant-based food sources in nature which makes their chances of dying of hunger minimal.

Do Elephants Eat Meat?

Elephants do not eat meat and it is not on their diet list because these animals are herbivorous. However, even though elephants will not eat meat, they do eat animal proteins in the form of ants, bugs, and bird eggs that are consumed while grazing in the wild.

Do Elephants Eat Humans?

Elephants do not eat humans because these animals strictly eat vegetation. However, elephant attacks on humans are becoming increasingly common when this mammal raids a village and will gore or step on humans that get in the way.

According to Brittanica, “Human deaths due to elephants range from about 100 to more than 500 per year.” National Geographic also reports: “Elephants are being pushed into smaller and smaller spaces. And increasingly, they’re pushing back.”

Do Elephants Ever Eat Animals?

Elephants will never eat animals because they are strict herbivores with a diet based on plants and vegetation. Even after a confrontation in the wild where the elephant wins, it will not consume the body of another animal.

What Animals Eat Elephants?

Elephants are prey to several different species.

You can visit our other guide on what animals eat elephants to find out which predators actively feed on these mammals.

Elephant diet

Elephant Eating Habits and Diet Summary

You now know what do elephants eat in the wild as well as the typical food in an elephant diet.

As you discovered in this guide, elephants are herbivores that only eat vegetation for nutrition with an elephant’s favorite food being things like hay, plants, and bark.