When one carefully watches how Elephants eat one realizes that they are quite selective eaters. If they break off a branch of a tree they will often strip the outer bark and eat only the inner bark and the cambium cell layer (this is where the nutrients are transported within the tree). And when they have peeled off these “goodies” they discard the remains of the branch.
Elephants eat a lot (a big bull will eat up to ~350kg = ~770-lbs of plant material every day), but they are quite fussy eaters 🙂
This picture shows one of Thanda’s Elephant bulls using his trunk to aid him “stripping” the branch.
Picture by Christian Sperka – Specialist Photography Guide and Resident Wildlife Photographer – Thanda Private Game Reserve