Elephants are pure vegetarian and eat mainly fruits and leaves, such as bamboos, pineapple leave, cucumber, papaya, watermelon, sugar cans, bananas, coconut leaves and also rice, but we have to steam it before to give it to the elephants.
Per day they eat up to 250 kg green leaves and drink about 200 liters of water.
Elephants use their trunks to pick up their food and then place it in their mouth. If the desired food item is too high up, the elephant will use its trunk to shake the tree or branch and to put the food down.
The trunk is also used for drinking. Elephants suck water up into the trunk (up to 14 liters at a time) and then blow it into their mouth. Elephants also inhale water to spray on their body during bathing.
Why do elephants need to eat so much?
Elephants digest only 40 % of what they eat; as a consequence nutrients are not good absorbed. This inefficient digestive system means that elephants must eat large quantities of food to retain and absorb necessary nutrients for good health. Large amount of food means that elephants eat between 200 and 250 kilos per day, though if they receive high concentrated food with rice, bread and fruit little as 50-100 kilos per day can be enough, especially if the Elephants do not work hard.