Fat Bear Week is HERE! Submit Your Vote to Crown the Fattest Bear in Katmai National Park & Preserve, AK

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fat bear, Alaska,

Fat bear week is underway! The annual competition, held by the Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska, crowns the winner the fattest bear of the state’s Brooks River, with the help of online voters like you. And above all, it is also a celebration of all things “fat” and “bear.”

Experience the excitement of survival of the fattest when Fat Bear Week 2020 begins Wednesday, September 30th! Matchups will be open for voting from 12 – 10 p.m. Eastern (8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Alaska).

Vote Here: fatbearweek.org

Here’s how to participate in #FatBearWeek: This is a single elimination tournament. For each set of two bears, vote for one who you think is the fattest. The bear with the most votes advances. Only one will be crowned champion of #FatBearWeek.

Voting is a two step process. First, click on the vote button below the photos. Then enter an email address in the line below the vote button. Email addresses are only used to tally votes. They will not be used for any other purpose. Votes will be considered final at 6:00 pm AKDT on the day of the post.

Starting October 2, the area’s chunkiest bears will compete in head-to-head matches running through October 8. The winner of each round will move to the next round until the finalists compete for the crown of “2019 Fattest Bear.”

fat bear, alaska
Credit: explore.org

Alaska’s brown bears are the largest brown bears and can eat up to 90 pounds of food each day, including other smaller mammals, salmon, berries, flowers, and herbs. The bears of Katmai emerged from hibernation in the spring as shadows of their late fall selves, having spent all winter snoozing and living off the fat they stored up. Once hibernation is over, the bears engage in a race against time to pack on the pounds in preparation for winter.

“There is no shame in winning this contest as large amounts of body fat in brown bears is indicative of good health and strong chances of survival,” the National Park Service said in a press release.
“During winter hibernation, which can last for up to half of the year in their den, a bear could lose up to one-third of its body mass. In preparation, the bears are entering hyperphagia this time of year, a state in which they eat nearly non-stop.”

fat bear
Credit: Katmai National Park and Preserve, AK

Full press release:

No capes are needed for these furry superheroes. They may not be faster than a speeding bullet, but despite the weight they are carrying, these burly beasts can still run faster than most humans. These brown bears’ power of packing on the pounds gets them through the winter and able to live to compete another year. With or without the lasso of truth around us, our story remains the same: fat bears = healthy bears.

While the plumpest of the plump work to gain even more, Katmai’s bears of Brooks River will compete in head-to-head matchups in Fat Bear Week’s single-elimination tournament. Your votes decide who will wear the mantle of 2020’s Fattest Bear. We are moving this voting from Katmai National Park’s Facebook page to explore.org/fat-bear-week hosted by explore.org. Experience the excitement of survival of the fattest when Fat Bear Week 2020 begins Wednesday, September 30th! Matchups will be open for voting from 12 – 10 p.m. Eastern (8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Alaska).

Does Bear 747 have a chance to get his first championship by dethroning last year’s reigning champion, 435 Holly? Will a new bear come from the outside and topple the competition for the ultimate win? Can multi-time champ 480 Otis reclaim his spot on top for one more year? While we can’t foresee the future champion, we do know the paunchy bear will only achieve their win with all of you casting your votes.

This competition is brought to you through the partnership of Katmai National Park and Preserve, explore.org and the Katmai Conservancy. If you want to check out the live bear cams, you can find them here.

Ready to check out the competition for this year’s crown? Here is the 2020 Fat Bear Week Bracket for you to fill out! Then remember to come back to explore.org/fat-bear-week daily from Wednesday, September 30th through Championship Tuesday, October 6th. Remember, with great Fat Bears comes a great responsibility to vote! 

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