Fat Bear Week is here to judge America’s largest mammals

October is a big deal in North America. Autumn – sorry, “fall” – foliage and of course the countdown to Halloween, if you’re into that kind of thing – these ingredients make it a supersized month on the US calendar. However, there are few bigger things in the first week of October than these bears.

Fat Bear Week is an annual competition held by the US National Parks and Katmai Conservancy. Since 2015, October 1 has marked the start of “Fat Bear Week”.

October is around about peak season for the animals’ weight-gain programme, as they prepare for a winter of starvation. After a summer gorging on wild-run salmon the park’s animals are ready for hibernation. Grizzly bears are known to lose up to a third of their body mass over winter.

This year’s competitors are certainly “fatter than the average bear”.

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