What Animals Eat Oranges? (10 Examples with Pictures)

Photo: Doug88888 / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

You might love them yourself, but oranges are also a favorite food to many other species. People often wonder exactly which animals eat oranges, and some names that are coming up on this list are bound to surprise you! In today’s article, we’ll be learning which animals enjoy this fruit.

Find the list of animals that eat oranges below:

  • Turtles
  • Fish
  • Monkeys
  • Raccoons
  • Squirrels
  • Deer
  • Hamsters
  • Dogs
  • Birds
  • Rats

* Note: animals are ranked in order of their search volume.

1. Turtles

Photo: Nicholas LabyrinthX / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name (order): Testudines

Turtles are not only an incredibly popular pet choice, they’re also orange lovers. The largest number of turtle species in the order are omnivores – meaning that they’ll eat both meat and fruit and veggies.

Even though they are animals that eat oranges, they don’t like orange peel and if you have a turtle pet – you should always peel the orange. You should also never feed them more than a few slices. They’re small animals, after all, and they can’t possibly eat an entire orange.

It’s also important that they don’t eat any pips!

2. Fish

Photo: Tim Pearce / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name (class): Actinopterygii

Another animal that eats oranges, fish are popular both as pets and as decorations. Many people feed their fish oranges – however, not all of them are fond of the fruit.

If you’re planning on feeding an orange to your fish, you should definitely cut it into small pieces and peel it. The peel is potentially dangerous to them, and besides – they couldn’t bite through it if you just dropped an entire orange in a pond.

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Many people throw cut up oranges into fish ponds and the fish seem to like it in small quantities!

3. Monkeys

Photo: Doug88888 / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Scientific name (order): Simiiformes

These animals eat oranges not only as pets, but also as part of their natural diet out in the wild. Most monkeys will eat all fruit, vegetables and nuts if they get the chance to, but they’ll also enjoy many man made treats!

This behavior is most common in Asia, where they can get oranges naturally. They’re rarely fed oranges in zoos, but they would certainly enjoy them if they were. There are also species of monkey in South America that eat not only oranges, but many other fruits as well.

4. Raccoons

Photo: Neil McIntosh / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Procyon lotor

Not only are they going to dig around your trash can for sweets and meats, they’ll also dig around for oranges! Yes, raccoons will eat pretty much anything at hand, and they certainly won’t say no to an orange.

What’s even more impressive is that they’re not only going to eat the orange – they’re going to peel it. Yes, they behave just like a human would when it comes to oranges. So, if you have an orange tree in the yard and raccoons in your area – you shouldn’t expect much fruit from your labor!

5. Squirrels

Photo: Peter Trimming / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Scientific name (family): Sciuridae

Out of all the animals that eat oranges, squirrels are probably the most lovable ones. Even though their diet mostly consists of nuts, they’re not going to say no to an orange. Just like raccoons, they’ll eat pretty much anything they can get their hands on.

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If you leave oranges lying around on the patio – they’ll eat them if they can. However, if you want to feed them yourself, do them a favor; peel the oranges and cut them into tiny pieces. It’ll be much easier for them to eat it that way.

6. Deer

Photo: John Stratford / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Scientific name (family): Cervidae

Most people don’t know this, but deer are another animal that will eat this citrus fruit. However, they usually can’t eat oranges off the tree, so they have to wait for the oranges to drop to the ground.

Additionally, deer are considered to be pests. That’s why orange farmers usually go a long way to ensure that they don’t become another animal that eats oranges.

7. Hamsters

Photo: Hannah Gilbert / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Scientific name (family): Cricetinae

Most rodents have an invaluable dietary quality that they’ll eat virtually anything that’s put before them. Be it meats, fruits, nuts or even sweets. That includes oranges.

Your hamster will gladly eat some orange; however, you shouldn’t give them too much, and you should steer clear of the peel. Give them a slice or two, and you don’t have to cut it into smaller pieces as they’ll usually chomp it down with ease.

8. Dogs

Photo: Jim’s Photos / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Scientific name: Canis familiaris

We all know that you shouldn’t give your dog chocolate, but did you know that dogs eat oranges? Vets agree that dogs can process oranges, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll like them.

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Remember that their sense of scent is much stronger than our own, and they can literally smell the bitterness of an orange. If you’re going to try to give it to them, cut it into small pieces, but don’t be surprised if your dog rejects it!

9. Birds

Photo: Mathias Appel / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Scientific name (class): Aves

There are about ten thousand species of birds, with many of them being plant eaters. These birds will gladly bite down on an orange. Birds with more powerful beaks will even tear off the orange peel and eat oranges in the wild.

If you want to feed the birds in your backyard, feel free to open an orange and cut it into smaller pieces – they’ll take care of it in no time. There are, however, birds that don’t like oranges – be it because they’re meat eaters or if the taste is too strong for them.

10. Rats

Photo: Sergey Yeliseev / Flickr / CC0 1.0

Scientific name (genus): Rattus

Just like hamsters, rats are famous for being scavengers that will eat more or less anything. This includes oranges, but interestingly – not even rats will eat Osage oranges!

They also share a similarity with raccoons, as they’ll gladly dig through your trash to find orange leftovers. It’s also possible that they’ll eat through the orange peel, but this might be too much for them to process. 


Many different animals eat oranges, but it’s only a first-choice meal for monkeys, birds, squirrels and raccoons in the wild. Feel free to feed any of these animals with oranges, if you so choose, but keep in mind that the acidity of the fruit might be too much for some of them (especially for dogs).

Most of the animals on this list won’t be able to eat oranges in the wild, though. Especially turtles and deer, unless they bump into an orange on the ground, so it’s only likely that they’ll ever see an orange if humans feed them!

James Ball

James has had a lifelong passion for animals and nature, tracing back to his childhood where he first began fostering intimate knowledge and connection with pet frogs and snakes. He has since honed this interest into a career as a trained Wildlife Biologist, specializing in Biogeography, sustainability and conservation. In addition to his professional pursuits, James maintains an active lifestyle, regularly indulging in outdoor activities such as hiking, and musical pursuits like playing piano and swimming.

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