The fat bears are already extremely fat

Success is demonstrated by fat bears
Katmai National Park and Preserve's brown bears have gained hundreds of pounds as they ate bounties of 4,500-calorie salmon. Many of them succeed in their goal to survive the long-winter famine and keep their fat stores full during hibernation.

Their natural triumph is evident in September 2021, approximately a month before the park hosts its annual Fat Bear Week contest and about two months before hibernation starts. Many bears are already very fat and will continue to get fatter.

The bear cameras, which livestream Katmai's bears on the park's fish-filled Brooks River, show the immense size of some river's dominant bears. These bears are granted access to the river’s most productive fishing spots. However, almost all of these Katmai bears look "healthily pudgy," Mike Fitz (a former Katmai park ranger, and currently a resident naturalist at told Mashable.

"He's a tank again."

The first video below features the bear 747, possibly the largest of the river's bears, and winner of last year's Fat Bear Week competition. The rotund bear to the right is him.

Fitz said, "He's a tank again."

The brown bears of Katmai eat sockeye salmon. They spend two to three years at sea, becoming fatter and then returning to their streams to produce new salmon. This is the annual salmon race. The prodigious run up Katmai’s Brooks River usually ramps up in the early part of July. Fitz noted that it started in July but was strong this year. The bears continue to eat later runs of silver salmon, also known as coho salmon, but they are not yet able to eat them.

September 29th marks the start of Fat Bear Week. You can vote online for the best-fed bear in this celebration of biodiversity and conservation. These big boys are already massive, as you can see in the video above.

However, the competition will be fierce. The Brooks River waterfall's bear 128 ("Grazer") and her yearlings (128 and 2) have caught and eaten salmon this year. They are also gaining weight and will be formidable competitors.

Fitz said, "She and her yearlings were enormous."