‘No fat shaming’: Vote for the most rotund Katmai bear during Fat Bear Week

The brown bears at Katmai National Park and Preserve have been feasting on salmon all summer in anticipation of the long winter ahead.

Now it's your turn to decide which one reigns supreme during "Fat Bear Week."

For the next week, the park will be releasing before and after photos of individual bears, and you can vote to determine which "gluttonous giant" takes the No. 1 spot, the park said.

The contest features the bears of Brooks Falls, which can be viewed all summer thanks to the park's popular bear cam.

It's the fourth year that Katmai National Park has pitted the rotund animals against one another in a March Madness style bracket.

"But there's no fat shaming here," the park said. Brown bears need fat stores in order to survive winter. During hibernation — which can last 6 months — a bear can shed one-third of its body mass, the park says. Lots of body fat means the animal is in good health.

The first matchup? "Whooping 151 Walker and bulging behemoth 409 Beadnose," the park said on its Facebook page.


Are you ready for some fat bears? Fat Bear Week is here! Round one kicks off with a showdown between the whopping 151...

Posted by Katmai National Park & Preserve on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

In order to vote, go to Katmai's Facebook Page.


Watch the bear camKatmai bears plump up ahead of winter 

Laurel Andrews

Laurel Andrews was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in October 2018.