Newspaper that inspires change. Breaking stories that shake the world. Be informed, Don't Settle for Fake News.

feat shape 1
feat shape 2
feat shape 3

Fat Bear Week 2023: Here are the heavyweight contenders

It's time for the annual Fat Bear Week competition at Katmai National Park in Alaska. Vote for your favorite heavyweight bear and crown the champion!

The majestic brown bears of Katmai National Park in Alaska have spent the past few months indulging in a hearty feast, preparing themselves for the upcoming winter hibernation. But this year, their weight gain is not just for survival, it's also for a competition. Welcome to the annual Fat Bear Week, where these magnificent creatures showcase their impressive size and fans get to vote for their favorite heavyweight.

To prepare for the cold winter, the bears feast on a diet of fish, berries, nuts, and more, resulting in some rather tubby bears. In honor of their chub, the National Park Service has created the Fat Bear Week competition. The bears go head-to-head, and fans have the opportunity to vote for the bear they believe has bulked up the most.

The 2023 competition will take place from October 4th to October 10th, following a single-elimination tournament format. In each match-up, you'll have the chance to vote for the bear that best exemplifies fatness. The bear with the most votes will advance to the next round, leading up to the crowning of the ultimate champion of Fat Bear Week.

The contenders for 2023 were announced on October 2nd, and you can view their before and after photos and choose your favorite on the official website. Make sure to keep up with the brackets and cast your vote every day for the bear you believe has packed on the most pounds in preparation for winter.

Since 2014, Katmai National Park has been hosting this competition to celebrate these fuzzy fatties and their incredible efforts to get ready for winter. It's a testament to their resilience and adaptability in the face of challenging conditions.

Let's meet some of the remarkable contenders for this year's Fat Bear Week:

1. Otis: Otis is a legendary figure among the bears of Katmai National Park. He is one of the oldest males to arrive in spring at Brooks River and has been a prolific winner, claiming the title in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2021. Otis has perfected a unique fishing strategy, patiently waiting for salmon to come to him at his preferred fishing spots. In one sitting, he once devoured an astonishing 42 salmon. Despite the challenges of old age, Otis continues to demonstrate his adaptability, skill, and patience, making him a formidable contender.

2. 747: Known by various names such as "The Jumbo Jet" and "Bear Force One," 747 is a bear that has worked hard to achieve his current figure. Last year, he may have weighed up to 1,400 pounds, and he was first identified in 2004. 747 is a skilled and efficient angler, often found fishing in the jacuzzi or near the far pool of Brooks Falls. He is a two-time champion, having claimed victory in 2020 and 2022.

3. 435 (Holly): Holly, also known as 435, is a powerful female bear who has proven that the ladies can compete with the best. She was first spotted in 2001 and has since become one of the most experienced bears at Brooks River. Holly has successfully raised several litters of cubs and took the crown in 2019. Her dedication and maternal instincts make her a force to be reckoned with.

If you want to learn more about the bears at Brooks River, you can delve into their daily lives through the bear cams available on the official website.

With fan favorites, past champions, and some truly massive bears in the competition, the stakes are high. The winner of Fat Bear Week will be announced on Tuesday, October 25th. Just like the bears' motto of "every bite counts," every vote counts in determining the champion. So, make sure to cast your vote and join in the celebration of these incredible creatures and their remarkable journey towards winter hibernation.

Share With Others

Comments on Fat Bear Week 2023: Here are the heavyweight contenders