Fat Bear Week is approaching rapidly, which means it’s almost time to crown the fattest bear in Brooks River. Fat Bear Week will start on September 29 this year, which observes the bulking up of pre-hibernating bears. This competition will take place in Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska.
Katmai is home to a massive population of brown bears and salmon. According to Explore, the region Katmai National Park and Preserve is located in has more brown bears than people. The bears of Katmai National Park and Preserve typically gorge on these fish before hibernation. This year, bears have “come out in record numbers,” according to Katmai National Park and Preserve.
Last year’s champion weighed in at a whopping 1,400 pounds, as stated by Boston 25 News. The former champion, Bear 747, was first noted when he was a cub in 2004. He was small enough to be overlooked and struggled to find a reliable place to fish back then. Eventually, Bear 747 gained enough mass to intimidate other bears and is almost always found fishing for salmon near Brook Falls. Bears can lose a third of their body weight within hibernation, so the bigger the bear, the healthier it is when emerging from hibernation.
Fat Bear Week is set up in bracket form, leaving visitors and observers to vote for their pick. Votes can be based on annual growth, challenges particular bears may face, or the biggest, plumpest bear visitors see. You can follow Fat Bear Week here.