Fat Bear candidate 128 Grazer is between the ages of 17 and 19. In the spring, she has a light coat that darkens in the fall, but she retains her recognizable fluffy blonde ears. Lian Law/NPS Image without a caption
switch to caption Photo by Lian Law/NPS
Candidate Fat Bear 128 Grazer is between the ages of 17 and 19. In the spring, she has a light coat that darkens in the fall, but she retains her recognizable fluffy blonde ears.
Photo by Lian Law/NPS It is in many ways a textbook election. There are no hypocrites among the contenders, and the campaign is only one week long.
In actuality, all of the candidates are fervently campaigning for themselves since, after all, they are bears who are embracing the ursine need to eat in excess and prepare for winter hibernation.
Fat Bear Week features officially started , honoring the struggle bears go through to survive and providing the rest of us a cause to marvel at enormous animals and salmon spawning in their natural habitat in Alaska’s Katmai National Park.
WORKINGS OF FAT BEAR WEEK The 12 brown bears are placed into a bracket , and each matchup’s winner is decided by public vote. Voting is open from October 5 through October 11 at 12 p.m. ET on each day.
The competition draws attention to the remarkable adjustment bears must make when they emerge from hibernation, starving and malnourished. According to the Katmai website , an average male adult’s weight can increase from 600-900 pounds to well over 1,000 pounds between the middle of the summer and the beginning of the fall.
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switch to caption Service for National Parks While seasoned animals are identified by names like the huge male Chunk or the blond-eared female Holly, contestants are tracked by their numbers. Then there is 747, which doesn’t require a moniker because both its number and size are reminiscent of the well-known jumbo airplane.
Otis, the current champion, also triumphed in the first Fat Bear competition eight years prior.
Follow your favorite bears on webcams in the park as they navigate the Brooks River’s rapids and waterfalls in search of sockeye salmon.
BEING A BIG BEAR WITH A BIG PERSONALITY HELPS. Despite the rivalry favoring girth, bears frequently win hearts because of emotive tales that experts have learned through years of observation.
Consider Holly, nicknamed 435, who helped several cubs on challenging journeys to become successful adults, including 503, whom she adopted after he was abandoned as a yearling cub.
Fat Bear candidate 435 Holly is one of the more senior bears that frequent Brooks River; she is in her mid- to late-20s. She is well renowned for adopting a number of orphaned cubs and has a light-colored coat that looks like a toasted marshmallow. Photo by E. Johnston/NPS with no caption
switch to caption Photo by E. Johnston/NPS
Candidate Fat Bear 435 Holly is one of the more senior bears that frequent Brooks River; she is in her mid- to late-20s. She is well renowned for adopting a number of orphaned cubs and has a light-colored coat that looks like a toasted marshmallow.
Photo by E. Johnston/NPS According to the Fat Bear Week website at Explore.org , “A bachelorette’s existence last summer offered her the liberty to concentrate on her own needs.”
Brown bears that are adults often weigh around one-third less than males.
Staff from the park and naturalist Mike Fitz of Explore.org recently talked about the 2022 field in a video if you need bear analysis.
WHO DO YOU HAVE BY 2022? While incumbents frequently have an advantage, this year’s competition is spiced up by insurgent newcomers.
Female subadult bear 335, Holly’s offspring, is one of the bracket’s young bears.
Between the ages of two and a half and five, or “subadults,” bears learn to live independently for the first time and are practically the equivalent of teenagers in the human world, according to Katmai Park Ranger Lian Law.
The bears’ backstories are a fantastic opportunity for the park to inform the general audience about the wide spectrum of bear habits, from their fishing and survival techniques to how they interact with other animals, as that narrative implies.