Fall has all of us cozying up and getting ready for winter, we’re taking naps, watching Netflix, and eating our favourite foods. Turns out we aren’t the only ones giving in to our fall tendencies. North America’s bear population is getting ready to hibernate and they’re preparing by getting a little chunky. The results of Fat Bear Week 2021 are in and you need to take a look.

Now let’s start with some context, why are these bears gorging themselves? In case you don’t know, bears hibernate during the winter, meaning that they endure months of famine where they can lose up to one-third of their body weight. If they don’t store enough fat reserves before entering their winter den, they could die. So be thankful you can order your favourite comfort foods whenever.

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Bears all across North America have been gorging themselves throughout the summer months and are getting to peak chunky levels as we near winter. So while you might see pictures of bears bulking from across the continent, the official Fat Bear Week judges bears in Alaska’s Brooks River in Katmai National Park. And if you’re wondering, the results were picked by people just like us through an online voting system.

fat bear week
Photo via Explore

This year’s winner was bear 480 aka Otis. His transformation was truly astonishing, he went from a gaunt figure to truly chunky. His runner-up was bear 151 aka Walker, who is also looking perfectly plush these days. Now both bears get to enjoy a long nap while burning off all that tasty salmon before waking up to do it again next year.

You can learn more about Otis by watching the video above and check out the rest of the bears from Fat Bear Week by clicking here.