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Bears in hyperphagia

Each fall all bears enter a state known as Hyperphagia - which if we break it down (hyper - meaning over, phagia - meaning to eat) literally means over-eating or as we like to call it: pigging out!

In the summer the bears have a relatively stable diet of approximately 15 lbs of various foods, mostly fruit and vegetables, which is enough to maintain their trim summer weights. For Grinder this is about 700 lbs and Coola approximately 800 lbs.

However, as winter approaches they need to put on the extra layers of fat before they go into the winter den for a long winter dormancy period (aka Hibernation). This is hyperphagia.

Extra calories

During hyperphagia, a bear will be obsessed with finding and consuming food. The balance of their diet will also shift in favour of proteins and fatty food sources such as their favorite salmon.  

The bears can go from eating just a few thousand calories a day to upwards of 30,000 calories per day (and even exceeding this in the case of large bears).  This helps them accumulate an extra 20-25% body weight before entering hibernation.

During the winter months, they will survive solely off this body fat as they don't eat, drink or urinate or defecate for up to 5 or 6 months!  

We wish Grinder and Coola well in their bulking stage and wish we could do the same - eat whatever we want in whatever quantity and sleep it away over the winter!