Hi. I’m Tambor the elephant. I LOVE to eat vegetables. The problem is I can only get veggies from gardens.
I found a new patch today, but now I’m too afraid to go near it.
These farmers in Africa are smart and know the one thing that will scare me away from their crops….ch-ch-chili peppers!
Just the smell of them is enough to scare the trunks off anyone. I know to you, it’s probably nothing. In fact, you may even like the smell of chili peppers. But to us elephants…well, let me tell you, it’s no sand bath.
I am still hungry, though. Perhaps you can do me a favor and check it out?
Chili pepper plants look like any other small, green, leafy plant. But watch out! That’s how they fool you! Those scary peppers like to hide under the leaves. Don’t worry though, you’ll know a pepper when you see one – they’re green to bright red and shaped like long, skinny triangles.
Since you are sooo brave, maybe when you’re finished doing that you could bring back some veggies for me? But remember, no peppers…please!
Elephants! Eat Your Veggies!
Did you know?
- Elephants can eat up to 400 pounds (135 kilograms) of food a day.
- A normal elephant diet consists mostly of leaves, grass with roots and fruit from trees. Their favorite fruit is Marula. This plum-like fruit is very sweet, juicy and high in vitamin C.
- Elephants also like people food. Cabbage, beans, legumes and tea plants are some of the many crops that elephants have been caught raiding.
How do you keep a 7,500 pound animal out of your garden? With chili plants, of course! African farmers use these small bush-like plants as a repellent to keep their crops safe. Elephants hate the smell of capsaicin (the chemical in peppers that make them hot). Just a few rows of these pepper plants are like nature’s scarecrow against elephants.
Who knew elephants would be so scared of such a small plant? What type of food do you absolutely detest? Tell us in the comments section!