What Animals Eat Watermelon?

Written by: Annemarie Dutton

If you love watermelons, you are not alone! If you live in an area where certain wild animals are naturally present, you might have to fight to preserve your choice of the melons that you are growing. Wild animal damage is likely to be worse in periods of drought because watermelons can provide precious moisture.

But did you know that watermelons can be a favorite snack for many animals?

Animals love watermelon, and within this article, we will explore different species of animals that love to feast on this juicy fruit.

Squirrels

Watermelons are safe for squirrels to consume as long as there has been no contact with pesticides. Squirrels can eat all parts of the watermelon, including its seeds, rind, flesh, and the crop’s leaves and vines.

Rabbits

Watermelon skins are a delicacy for rabbits. All the green parts of the watermelon are okay for rabbits. You should give the watermelon peels to your rabbits rather than the flesh.

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Tortoises

Tortoises are also fruit-eating animals that will consume watermelon rind. However, it is recommended that you give your pet tortoise watermelon in moderation to prevent overhydration, which can lead to diarrhea. 

Bearded Dragons

While watermelon is a good fruit for hydrating your bearded dragon, the nutrients are watered down.

A small amount of watermelon can boost your bearded dragon’s health, and your pet beardie will love the sweet taste! Still, you must prioritize your beardie’s health by regulating their intake of this yummy treat.

Typically you can feed your bearded dragon a few small pieces of watermelon once a month or even less frequently. 

Guinea Pigs

The majority of guinea pigs love watermelons, and just like us, they’ll gobble it up with delight.

Watermelons are full of Vitamin C, which is an essential part of the rodent’s diet.

Don’t worry too much about your own fruits, as guinea pigs usually consume watermelons in moderation.

Coyotes

Coyotes are known for catching small animals. However, like human beings, they love to feed on juicy watermelons, especially during the hot summer months.

However, these creatures can cause severe damage to watermelon crops.

There have been reports that coyotes have gobbled up as much as 20 melons in a single night!

It’s hard for coyotes to resist watermelons since it’s a refreshing fruit, but it also allows them to cool off their body temperature.

Birds

Watermelon is a fruit that’s safe to consume for domestic and wild birds. As one of the chief melons available, these fruits are an excellent alternative for multi-bird houses or larger domestic species. Though melons are not as popular as other sickly-sweet grapes or fruits, most birds will peck at the fleshy insides even if some can’t consume the rest.

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Deer

Deers don’t eat the skin of a watermelon. They just make a hole in the shell and love eating the inside lycopene. Lycopene is the internal and the most delicious part of the watermelon and can be pink or red.

Rats

Rats can eat almost all types of fruit and can eat all parts of watermelon without difficulty. 

Watermelon is a good choice for rats. It’s full of vitamins A and C and plenty of potassium. 

These nutrients promote a healthy digestive and immune system, making watermelons an excellent snack choice.

Cats

Cats also eat watermelons, but it’s not the sweetness of the watermelon that attracts them. Instead, they have unique reasons for their fondness for melons. 

First, the odor of a ripe melon makes cats salivate. 

Second, watermelons have identical amino acids and look very similar to meat. Due to these reasons, cats enjoy the inside portion of the watermelon.

Dogs

Just like cats, dogs too can safely feed on watermelons. Pet owners can feed their dogs this fruit in small bite-sized pieces – as the flesh of watermelons is nutritious and safe for your dog.

However, you should feed watermelon in moderation to dogs, and it’s best if you remove the seeds and cut out and discard the rind before feeding them this fruit.

Elephants

Elephants do eat watermelon. They use their foot to break it apart to eat the sweet fleshy part with ease.

Elephants have a sweet tooth since they like to eat watermelons and sugarcane.

The typical foods in an elephant’s diet include carrots, bananas, apples, grasses, bamboo, seed pods, twigs, leaves, flowers, bark, and roots.

The less common foods that elephants would use to supplement their diet when it’s available include watermelons, pears, pineapples, celery, cabbage, lettuce, kale, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and beets.

Hippos

Since hippos have strong jaws, they can easily crush the fruit in a single bite. But, a significant portion of the hippo’s diet includes grass.

These creatures can spend up to 5 hours grazing, and every night, a hippo can eat around 60-80 pounds of grass.

Hippos can use their feet to squash watermelons but also can use the raw force of their mouth to break them apart.

Hippos can consume an entire watermelon, including the rind, as it’s effortless for them to chew.

Lemurs

Lemurs eat watermelons because the flesh is easy to chew on and digest.

Lemurs don’t eat the rind of the watermelon because it’s bitter and hard for them to chew. 

Smaller lemurs often feed primarily on insects and fruits when it’s available.

However, these herbivores also like to feed on different plant materials, such as fruits, bark, sap, shoots, flowers, leaves, and nectar.

Conclusion

Watermelons are a fruit that most animals love because of their sweet sugary taste and high water content.  However, overfeeding watermelons can lead to health issues such as overhydration, diabetes, and obesity.

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