It’s that glorious time of the year when the fattest bears of the Katmai National Park & Preserve face off in a bracket-style showdown of who’s put on the most weight (and carries it the best)!
Fat Bear Week is held (virtually) every year as cameras in the Katmai National Park document the perseverance of the brown bears throughout the spring, summer, and fall months. Cameras snatch pictures of the bears’ condition at the beginning of the year after they wake up from hibernation, which usually results in the bears looking very, very skinny. By the time fall arrives, these same brown bears eat so much that they put on hundreds of pounds and are unrecognizable from their previous spring pictures.
In the words of Katmai National Park and Preserve,
“Fat Bear Week is a celebration of success and survival. It is a way to celebrate the resilience, adaptability and strength of Katmai’s brown bears. Bears are matched against each other in a “march madness” style competition and online visitors can vote who is ultimately crowned the Fat Bear Week 2021 Champion. Over the course of the week, virtual visitors learn more about the lives and histories of individual bears while also gaining a greater understanding of Katmai’s ecosystem through a series of live events hosted on explore.org.”
*You* can participate in this fun event! Click on this link to go to vote for the bear you think should win Fat Bear Week 2021.
But first, you need to see some of the competitors this year:
Even the little ones are getting into this year’s competition!
Spring Cub Before
Spring Cub After
Finally, my favorite, Grazer