What Animals Eat Bananas

What Animals Eat Bananas? (23 Examples with Pictures)

In Backyard Tips by Jamie

Bananas are a delicious snack for people as well as many animals. Many companion animals such as Dogs, Horses, Ducks, and Cows eat bananas. Whenever I snap open a banana I let my dog have a few nibbles as he loves to eat bananas! There are also many wild animals like ants, deer, skunks, and monkeys that can eat bananas.

They are rich in starch, potassium, vitamin B6, and natural sugars. This makes them a very attractive food for any animal that can digest them. However, even though many animals can eat a banana, most shouldn’t eat them all the time. I’ve made a list of several animals that might enjoy a banana and how many bananas they can safely eat.

Which Animals Eat Bananas?

Because so many animals eat bananas, it made sense to divide them into several categories. The first is animals kept by people, the second is animals commonly found in the city and suburbs, then we have more unusual wild animals. You are unlikely to encounter the last category unless you live in a rural area, as they tend to avoid humans.

Pets and Farm Animals

Pets and Farm animals include many domesticated animals, as well as wild animals typically kept as pets. Since these animals receive most if not all their food from human caretakers, it is important to know how much they should have of a particular food.

Macaws

Macaws and other parrots are exotic animals but are frequently kept as pets. In the wild, they eat primarily fruits, nuts, and seeds. In captivity, a peeled banana can be a good treat for your bird if it is not overripe. Overripe bananas are too sweet and can cause digestive trouble.

Cows

Bananas can be given to cows as a treat

Cows should eat primarily grass and other green matter, but they love bananas. Bananas can be given to cows as a treat, or in small batches to supplement nutrition. In parts of the world where bananas are grown commercially, overripe bananas not fit for human consumption are given to cows. Cows are very capable of digesting rotten bananas with the peel intact unless the bananas are visibly moldy or covered in flies.

Tortoises

Omnivorous and herbivorous tortoises love bananas. The easy vitamins and sugars are very attractive to them. However, bananas are not a good staple food for tortoises, because they are too soft and sweet. Overfeeding your tortoise bananas can cause fungal infections and digestive distress. A tortoise should be eating a maximum of a 2-inch-thick slice of banana per week.

Horses

Bananas are a healthy dietary supplement for horses

Bananas are a healthy dietary supplement for horses, although they should still eat plenty of grass or hay. Many horse owners find bananas helpful as a dietary supplement for older horses because they do not require much chewing and promote joint health.

Dogs

Dogs are flexible eaters, much like humans. While most of a dog’s diet will be meat-based, occasional fruits and veggies are not only pleasant for them but healthy too. Many dogs like to eat bananas, and if they are still eating enough dog food for healthy nutrition, then snacking on bananas isn’t a problem.

Geese

Geese eat many fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet including bananas

Geese eat many fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet, including bananas. When giving geese bananas, ensure they are washed. This is because birds are sensitive to pesticides often used in commercial farming. Additionally, bananas should never make up more than 10% of your goose’s diet, as overfeeding bananas can cause obesity.

Ducks

Ducks go bananas for bananas! They love these nutrient-dense fruits so much, that they can choke on bananas during overenthusiastic eating. For this reason, bananas and banana peels should always be cut into pieces before being fed to ducks. To prevent exposure to pesticides, make sure to also wash the fruit well.  

Mice

I debated on including mice with rats in the next category, but many people keep mice as pets. Mice can and do eat fruits such as bananas, although their diet shouldn’t primarily be sweet foods like bananas. Instead, an occasional banana slice with greens and veggies will lead to a happier mouse.

Common Wildlife

Now let’s talk about the wildlife commonly seen in cities and suburbs. These animals are likely to go after human food waste, such as discarded bananas. Additionally, some neighborhood wildlife is pleasant to have around, and you might want to make them feel welcome in your yard.

Birds

Most birds love bananas including Starlings

Most birds love bananas including Starlings, Robins, and Magpies. If you’d like to encourage these beautiful birds to visit your garden, you can leave peeled bananas out to soften. They need to be very ripe without becoming moldy to be appetizing to the birds. Make sure you put the banana somewhere safe and out of reach of predators such as hanging it in a tree.

Squirrels and Chipmunks

Although squirrels and chipmunks are more known for their fascination with nuts, they also eat many other things. If bananas are available, both squirrels and chipmunks have been known to eat them. This is especially true during the winter and spring when their natural foods are scarcer.

Rabbits

Rabbits and bunnies enjoy sweet fruits like bananas, although eating them regularly is terrible for their health. Eating bananas more than once in a blue moon can cause constipation and even death in rabbits, so proceed with caution. Most of a rabbit’s food should be grass, hay, or other similar greenery.

Rats

Rats are not picky eaters, so it is not a surprise that they eat bananas. Rats will go through mazes and mounds of obstacles to find sweet things like bananas, so be careful to throw them out somewhere away from the house to avoid potential infestation.

Raccoons

Bananas are one of the many things they will eat

Raccoons like to go into human settlements to scavenge for food during the colder months, and bananas are one of the many things they will eat. These fruits are a delight to raccoons, who are known to have a sweet tooth.

Ants

Ants are drawn to foods high in sugars since they need them to feed their young. If you leave a banana out in an accessible place, expect to see a line of ants carrying bits of it off before long.

Opossum

Adult possums can eat bananas

Adult possums can eat bananas, but generally, these animals shouldn’t eat too many fruits. Not only will an opossum eat the fruit of a banana, but also the peel.

Skunks

Even though skunks eat primarily insects and small animals, they will also eat vegetables and fruits. Among the favorite fruits of skunks is the banana, although they generally have trouble digesting the peel.

Uncommon/Exotic Wildlife

Finally, here are some more uncommonly seen animals that also eat bananas. These animals tend to avoid humans, and instead rely on foraging for food.

Gorillas

In addition to many other foods, including termites and grubs, gorillas eat bananas. An adult gorilla can eat an entire bunch of bananas at once without any ill effects.

Deer

Bananas should not make up most of the deers diet but are an excellent supplementary food

Deer tend to be too shy to come near humans, but if they can get them, they enjoy bananas. Bananas should not make up most of the deer’s diet but are an excellent supplementary food.

Elephants

Elephants are hearty enjoyers of bananas, especially species native to tropical climates. When jungle-dwelling elephants have trouble finding other forage, they frequently turn to bananas as a calorie-intense foodstuff.

Fruit Bats

Unsurprisingly, species of bat which eat fruit often eat bananas. Bats should have a variety of fruits to maintain balanced nutrition, but bananas are a part of a healthy diet.

Monkeys

Monkeys prefer bananas over many other types of species appropriate food

If the TV has taught us anything about monkeys, it’s that they love bananas. Indeed, monkeys prefer bananas over many other types of species-appropriate food. Even though a monkey’s diet should consist of more than just bananas, bananas are a healthy food for monkeys.

Sugar Gliders

Sugar Gliders, as evidenced by their name, love sweet things. Fruit makes up much of their diet. Bananas are a great snack for a sugar glider. However, sugar gliders need a variety of different fruits to maintain balanced nutrition.

Hippopotamuses

Captive hippos such as those in zoos are frequently given bananas

Hippos eat mostly vegetable matter such as aquatic plants in the wild, but also enjoy fruit. Captive hippos such as those in zoos are frequently given bananas and watermelons. However, since hippos did not evolve to eat sugary fruits regularly, bananas should never make up a large portion of their diet.

Read my related article: What Animals Eat Oranges? (See 18 Examples)

Final Thoughts

Many animals in the world eat bananas, including several you’re likely to see in your backyard. When feeding pets and livestock, ensure that you are curating a nutritionally balanced diet for your animals by consulting a vet. When feeding wild animals, ensure that giving them bananas is safe for their species.