Fat Bear Week is an annual tournament taking place every October. It pits bears in Katmai National Park, Alaska against each other in a week-long bracket style competition, evaluating a bear’s “success in preparation for winter hibernation”. Participants vote to decide who they deem is the “fattest” bear.
Katmai National Park is home to around 2200 brown bears which bulk up on salmon throughout the summer and fall in order to accumulate fat and prepare for their annual winter hibernation. Adult males can gain up to 500 lbs (225 kg) and weigh up to 1200 lb (550 kg) when hibernation starts. At the Katmai National Park, bears generally begin hibernating in October and November.
Fat Bear Week, founded by former park ranger Mike Fitz, was founded as Fat Bear Tuesday in 2014. He came up with the idea after noting the interest in online livestreams of the bears feeding at the river. Visitors to the national park were asked to review before and after photos of a number of the park’s bears and to vote for the fattest bear in a single elimination tournament. In 2015, the tournament went digital and was extended to a week.
In 2022, officials were forced to discount fraudulent votes in an unprecedented case of voter fraud after irregularities in semi-finals were discovered.
|2020||747||Bear Force One / Colbert|
|2022||747||Bear Force One / Colbert|
In 2022, Bear 747 a.k.a. “Bear Force One” was crowned Fat Bear Champion for the second time. He won 68,105 votes, beating runner-up Bear 901 by 11,229 votes. Bear 747 is estimated to have weighed 1,400lbs (635kg).
Fat Bear finalists face off after cheating scandal rocks voting
Two bears are facing off on Fat Bear Tuesday, just days after a cheating scandal disrupted Sunday’s semi final.
There are fat bears other places, too!
Alaska Locals Christen Overweight Polar Bear ‘Fat Albert’
The bear, affectionately named ‘Fat Albert’ by locals, is thought to weigh a whole 200 kilograms heavier than he should be.
The average polar bear should weigh around 450kg (1000lbs), though Fat Albert weighs a whopping 679kg (1500lbs).
Locals in Katovik, Alaska, where Albert lives, transport large amounts of ‘left over’ whale blubber for the bears as a way of ‘showing respect’ to the animals. And it most definitely seems as if the gargantuan Albert has tucked in to more than his fair share.
While Fat Albert is pretty damn large, he’s not actually a world-record holder. The largest polar bear in history tipped the scales at whopping 1,001kg (2,209lbs) in 1960.
A usually very morbidly obese animal which people think is cute. the word chonk is a morphed version of chunk.