Move over, Shark Week cause FAT BEAR WEEK is here. Apparently, bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve are gettin’ all chonky off of 4,500-calorie salmon, with some bears weighing in at more than 1,000 pounds.
Those over at Katmai National Park and Preserve decided to have a little fun with the soon-to-be-hibernating brown bears. They’ve made an annual event out of it, creating a special bracket to crown the fattest bear.
Here’s how to participate in #FatBearWeek: this is an elimination tournament to determine who will be crowned 2020’s fattest bear on the Brooks River. For each pairing of bears, you will be given the opportunity to vote on our new #FatBearWeek website, https://t.co/bcJqAzVU3F pic.twitter.com/wCQTu4zUmM
— Katmai National Park (@KatmaiNPS) September 29, 2020
People can vote for their favorite chonky bois Sept. 30 through Oct. 6.
Welcome to #FatBearWeek 2020! Today’s first matchup is between the dominant doge, bear 856, and big-bootied bear 151 Walker. In this arena, can 151 Walker flaunt his fatness or will 856 once again prove that overbearing obesity wins the day?
— Katmai National Park (@KatmaiNPS) September 30, 2020
The fatter the bear, the better. Truly. Fat bears mean the ecosystem is rich with life and there is little competition for food.
Park rangers explained to Mashable why this season is so special for the region:
“Fat bears exemplify the richness of Katmai National Park and Bristol Bay, Alaska, a wild region that is home to more brown bears than people and the largest, healthiest runs of sockeye salmon left on the planet. … Even sows with cubs are really fat,” the rangers said. “And that is extraordinary because they have to expend the most energy and therefore are usually the thinnest at this time. Not this season.” A former ranger told Mashable, “All the bears are fat this year.”
In addition to the bracket, Katmai National Park and Preserve has other fun ways to engage with its wildlife. On Explore, there’s a livecam on the bears’ habitat.
Explore also has a roster of all Fat Bear Week participants. Here’s juicy boi, Walker.
This is Holly, who’s showing off her beautiful curves.
And Holly’s cub!
We can’t wait to hear the results of this year’s tournament.