Why do elephants strip bark off trees?

Introduction: Elephant behavior and bark stripping

Elephants are one of the largest land animals on earth, and as herbivores, they require a significant amount of food to survive. They have a unique diet that consists of grass, leaves, fruits, and bark. Although elephants can consume a vast amount of food, they are selective eaters and choose their food based on nutritional value. One of the notable elephant behaviors is stripping bark off trees, which raises a common question: why do elephants strip bark off trees?

The importance of bark for elephants

Bark is a vital source of nutrition for elephants, especially during the dry season. It contains essential nutrients such as fiber, minerals, and protein that help elephants maintain their body condition and stay healthy. Furthermore, bark is a readily available food source for elephants, and it requires less energy to obtain than digging for roots or searching for fruits. Elephants prefer to strip bark from particular tree species, such as acacias and combretums, which have a higher nutritional value than others. In addition, bark has medicinal properties that elephants use to treat various health conditions, such as diarrhea, internal parasites, and wounds.

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