Lady and the Palm Nuts

Recently, we noticed that Lady had something curious in her mouth that we couldn’t immediately identify. It was full of round objects that we’d never seen her eat before. Upon further examination, we saw that she’d been collecting palm nuts to enjoy. (Don’t worry. They’re perfectly edible.)

The nuts were lying all around the yard, scattered in piles. So it’s not like she’d been snacking on one or two; rather, she’d been eating them by the dozens. The palm nuts can be found in the male Asian yard, but she has to reach quite high for some of them. We’ve found plenty of palm nuts in her poo, so clearly she has a taste for them and made herself quite the buffet for the morning.

Photo of Lady with palm trees in the background


  1. REPLY
    John says

    That’s so interesting that she put them in to piles around the yard. Trying to imagine her doing that intentionally, storing them up like squirrels do.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      She seems much more interested in eating them than saving them!

  2. REPLY
    Carey says

    So many delights of the male Asian yard for Lady, how lovely for her, and very inquisitive of her to try them and see! Is it this type of Palm nut? ? It’s probably got some kind of nutritional benefits for Lady?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      According to Scott, it’s Acrocomia aculeata – which the Brazilians call Bocaiúva. Palm nuts are supposed to have health benefits in humans but, to our knowledge, there’s no information on whether there are nutritional benefits for elephants. They’re great at knowing what’s good for them to eat, though, and what they should stay away from.

  3. REPLY
    Julie says

    Oh wow. Lady loves Palm nuts. Do any of the other ladies eat them

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      Guida used to eat them. There aren’t any of those palms in the female Asian habitat, mostly because Maia knocked them over for Guida to eat the first year they were here. There may be a few on the backside of yard 5 where Maia and Lady spend time. Rana goes there occasionally, but they’re really the only ones.

  4. REPLY
    Rachel says

    I’m a nut lover too Lady! Family calls me squirrel. Enjoy! 🥰

  5. REPLY
    Diane Kastel says

    Are palm nuts an unusual part of their diet? Do the other elephants like them?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Palm nuts are not generally a regular part of their diet, simply because palm trees only grow in certain parts of the habitat. The other girls don’t have as much access to the palms as Lady has in the male yard, so we don’t know if they like them.

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