Elephants spend a lot of time in the day eating to get enough energy and resources for their large bodies. Elephants are herbivores, meaning they only eat vegetation. African Elephants are mostly browsers, (which means they go for higher vegetation and twigs) and Asian Elephants are mostly grazers (which means they go for lower vegetation). Their diet consists of grasses, fruits, roots, and bark. They can eat up to 300lbs, or 136kg, of food in a day. They also drink about 30-50 gallons of water each day.
Contrast to this natural diet, Elephants in Zoo's do not eat things like this. When in the Zoo, most Elephants are given the following:
125 pounds of hay - this is bad because hay does not provide the nutrients and vitamins that natural grasses and leaves would give to the elephants in the wild. Often hay smells, has other "things" in it, have sun damage,
10 pounds of herbivore pellets - these are made out of a formula that supposedly give the elephant all the nutritional needs that it can get... why they don't just give them natural leaves and tree bark which would be cheaper... I couldn't tell you. If you look this up online, you can buy 50 lbs of this for $31.99 in American currency. 50 lbs of anything shouldn't be that cheap... I know dog food isn't. That makes me wonder what really is in this food.
10 pounds of fruits and vegetables - this isn't bad, but we don't know what conditions the fruits and vegetables are in. Hopefully all good here... but who really knows in some zoos!
farm crops - I am not sure what this includes, but because it isn't included in the fruits and vegetables category, it doesn't seem healthy.