Clearly, squirrels don't need to worry about their summer bodies. In fact, right now, they're trying to pack on the pounds (or ounces).

Michigan squirrels, in particular, are making the rounds at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and apparently not skipping any snacks being offered to them... something I can relate to.

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Introducing... "Chonk Squirrels." Photos have surfaced on Reddit of the rather rotund critters enjoying a break (and a snack) before slowly scurrying up into his hideaway in the trees.

Squirrels, this time of year, are putting on weight to hibernate for the winter, because "oh lawd, she comin." In Michigan, winter can be particularly harsh and cold. Hence, some squirrels around the Mitten tend to appear more "robust" than in other parts of the country.

Now, this one posted above just happens to be an "absolute unit" of a squirrel. But even UofM students like Reddit user r/Werdna_Pay noticed that the squirrels are getting "even more thicc" around campus.

Some of the best reactions to these chubsters?

  • "Ann Arbor, Michigan: the only place in the world where squirrels suffer from metabolic syndrome"
  • "Holy Chonks!"
  • "He's sphere shaped, WTF"
  • "Saw this small dog on my way to campus"
  • "These squirrels are gonna be human-sized in 10 years"
  • "Final Boss Squirrel"

While putting on a "freshman 15" isn't really a big deal for students, for squirrels, it can actually be bad for their health, especially if it's in areas with larger populations of people.

When squirrels are particularly pudgy, and relatively comfortable approaching people, it usually means they've been accepting snacks from people handing them out. Things like chips and cereal can actually be harmful to a squirrel's diet, as they're used to focusing more on nuts and seeds.

Also, feeding squirrels, and making them more comfortable around people, can encourage potential unsafe interactions - scratches, bites, or transmission of disease.

Just something to keep in mind when you see these guys stocking up for the winter. But that being said, laying out nuts and seeds for the squirrels is actually beneficial for them... just make sure it's not mixed in with some Cheetos and Cheerios.

Animals You Can Hunt All Year in Michigan

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