Are There Any Animals That Eat Rubber? (Answer with References)

Munching on food items never seems to be a boring task. Trying out new food items that enhance the taste buds always attracts the animals in every way. We live in a world where you can get something to eat in any form.

It can be easily found in garbage through which many animals fill their stomach. However, this garbage can carry a lot of harmful substances instead of giving nutrition causing health issues.

Rubber is a common substance that can be easily found in garbage. Unfortunately, many animals tend to eat them mistakenly which gradually disturbs their health. Here in this article, we are explaining how rubber is harmful and what animals tend to consume it. Without further ado, let’s get into this article.

What Is Rubber?

Rubber is a natural substance or a polymer of isoprene that is mostly extracted from tropical plants. Although there are two ways through which rubber is extracted- one is through natural procedure and the other by derivatives of petroleum. The elasticity and resilience of the rubber make it suitable to be transformed into useful products. 

Are There Any Animals That Eat Rubber?

Animals tend to eat everything they find nearby. However, mostly it should not be a topic of concern. Rubber seems to be a piece of meat in its squishy form. This makes it quite difficult for the animals to differentiate it. Certain animals eat rubber directly or indirectly. However, it never affects them much but if the quantity is not controlled, it can be toxic to them.

Certain animals that can eat rubber are Vultures, Rats and Mice, Rhea (birds), and sometimes cattle. However, their metabolism is not developed to sustain the rubber material inside their bodies for a longer period. It can cause severe health issues for them.

Now you are wondering how these animals eat rubber and in which form. Don’t worry we will explain to you why they eat it and how they do not die after eating it.

1) Vultures


It is well known that vultures feed on the dead bodies of animals. Sometimes, they also appear to be munching on a rubber tire. Sometimes they appear to be ripping windshield wipes. This way they consume rubber. Though, the quantity is less which makes it safe for them to eat and digest.

2) Rats and Mice


Rats and Mice can chew any food item they find suitable. They can even chew solid pieces of wood to eat it. Mouses can chew anything with their strong and durable teeth like vinyl, plastics, paper, wood, and sometimes metals (fiberglass-based screens).

The continuous habit of chewing anything they find makes them eat rubbers too. However, this is not harmful to them as rats consume a small portion of it by just biting the edges. This makes them munch on them and digest it eventually.

3) Rhea (Bird) 


Rubber is not a food that animals should eat. Rhea is a bird that munches on rubber around the windows of the cars.

This species of bird has an amazing metabolism that digests rubber properly. However, if the quantity exceeds the required, it will cause health issues for the bird.

The reason behind the consumption of rubber by Rhea Bird is that it acts as a fiber but can harm the bird if eaten in too much quantity.

4) Cows


Cows love to graze in the fields or anywhere grass is available. They can also search their food items in garbage which eventually leads them to eat rubber. Sometimes the pieces of rubber/ melted rubber can be consumed by cows.

Through, the digestive system of cows is strong to handle as their rumens carry an enzyme that helps in breaking down rubber into simpler forms. If the quantity of the rubber exceeds, it can cause serious health issues and can even kill the cow.

Why Do Animals Eat Rubber?

Rubber is not a food that an animal should eat. It is a polymer that can cause health ailments if consumed without limits. 

Animals are often confused with rubber as animal skin which makes them eat rubber. That’s the main reason behind animals eating rubbers.

Mostly, it is seen that vultures often eat car rubber around windows while some animals eat bits of rubber found in garbage. The hunger level makes them fools; they often consume rubber and plastics. Although, if the amount is in control, it will never impact their health.

Why Is Rubber Harmful For Animals?

The simplest form of rubber available is in the form of Rubber bands. Many animals eat their food from the wastes found nearby. Talking about the toxicity of rubber; it is produced with the addition of many chemicals and other toxic elements. Not every rubber is harmful but a high concentration of it can cause sneezing, breathing issues, and hard coughing. 

It can choke the gut of an animal. Moreover, rubber can cause cancer too.


Concluding the entire article, it should be well known that the food you are feeding to animals must be toxin-free. Rubber is not harmful if it is consumed within limits.

It can become poisonous if consumed too much. The squishy texture of rubber attracts carnivorous animals to eat it. We hope that you will like this article. Soon, we will be back with another article.


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