Fat Bear Week 2021 is here! The brown bears of Katmai National Park and Preserves gorged on 4,500-calorie salmon during the summer, and have now surpassed 1,000 pounds. The annual competition to determine the fattest bears in Alaska is being held. Voting can be done online from Sept. 29 through Oct. 5. Mashable will follow all the ursine activity.
Fat Bear Week 2021 is a celebration of wildlife conservation and animal success.
Katmai National Park and Preserve revealed Monday that 12 brown bears were fully filled out and will be participating in this year's online tournament. All these bears, even though they are champions in their harsh natural environment, have proven to be a great way for people around the world to appreciate the beauty of nature and the many benefits of conservation.
Katmai's bears livestreamed via the explore.org webcams exploited rich runs sockeye salmon up the Brooks River Park's in 2021. The proof is in their pudding.
Naomi Boak, Katmai National Park and Preserve's media ranger, said that the bears are "pretty massive." She also spent the summer watching them, according to Mashable. They are heavy looking."
They are quite massive.
Because many bears have had success in Katmai's salmon rich rivers, the Fat Bear Week contest is especially fascinating. The unique lives of these bears are shared by park biologists and park bear specialists. We know which cubs are most dominant, which mothers have raised many cubs successfully, and which bears have overcome life-threatening obstacles to succeed.
Bear 480 "Otis," a veteran fat bear competitor, is a strong contender for this year's race. He's a little over a quarter century old and has lost many of his teeth. Otis is perhaps the oldest river bear. Perhaps he's also the most famous bear for his unwavering salmon fishing record on explore.org. Otis, however, made an unusually late July visit to the river this year. This led some to wonder if the bear might not be back.
He did it, looking gaunt. He quickly gained weight.
Mashable: Mike Fitz, a former Katmai ranger and current resident naturalist at explore.org said that "he's certainly made up lost time." "He has gained an amazing amount of body mass in just seven weeks."
Here are the fat Katmai bears who will be competing with Otis in this year's contest. Voting begins on September 29. at explore.org and continues through October 5. (Voting can be done between 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. PT). These images also include photos of the fattened-up bears. Explore.org also allows you to view and read more about each of the contenders.
The 2021 Fat Bear Week bracket. Credit: explore.org
Bear 480 "Otis", a mighty wolf, has been eating well since late July. Credit: N. Boak/C. Spencer/Nps
Bear 128 "Grazer", a top contender in the 2021 Fat Bear Week Contest, is here. Credit: L. Law/N. Boak/NPS
These bears aren't just fat. These bears are almost certain to be the most successful, largest and fattest brown bears on Earth. These bears have enjoyed salmon runs for a lot of their lives, especially in the last 50 years. These bears hibernate in sufficient fat stores and then reemerge in good health to feast again on salmon.
Boak stated that large, healthy bears are a result of a healthy river over the past five years. They were born into a river full of abundance and have benefited greatly from it.
All fat bears will have to compete with bear 747, last year's Fat Bear Week champion. He was described by a past ranger as more hippopotamus-like bear. Fitz, a naturalist, said that he was the largest and fattest bear he'd ever seen. It is a privilege to have seen a bear this big.
It seems he is just as fat this year.
Boak observed that 747 seemed ready to hibernate in the July months.