It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a group of rather large bears brought to you courtesy of Fat Bear Week.
Taking place annually, Fat Bear Week is a tournament celebrating the success of the bears at Brooks River in Katmai National Park in Alaska.
This year’s tournament runs from Wednesday, Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, but the brackets have been unveiled today. Voting will be open daily from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. PT.
Voters will get to decide who gets to take home this year’s most coveted prize. Will it be 435 Holly, last year’s winner? Or perhaps former multi-time champ 480 Otis can retake the crown? Only you can decide. To vote, visit: https://explore.org/fat-bear-week.
But why is it so important for the bears to be fat? According to the National Park Service, brown bears need to put on enough weight to survive a months-long famine while curled up in their dens all winter long. Males need to get big and strong to dominate fishing spots and secure mates. Female bears need to gain weight to survive and birth cubs.
The bears in Katmai National Park will pile on the pounds mostly through salmon, as dozens of bears gather at the Brooks River to chow down from June to October.
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