Transfer over shark week, there is a new animal able to seize everybody’s consideration — it is Fats Bear Week in America.
Whereas sharks’ week-long highlight often consists of listening to how lethal they’re, Fats Bear Week takes the lethal nature of those fascinating beasts out of the image and reveals how hefty these majestic creatures can get.
Placed on by the Katmai Nationwide Park & Protect in southwest Alaska, the nationwide park is house to an estimated 2,200 brown bears. The celebration began off as a singular day in 2014, but it surely wasn’t lengthy till it captivated the remainder of the nation.
“Everyone was just amazed by it,” Sara Wolman, undertaking and media supervisor for Katmai Conservancy, informed USA TODAY. “In a world where we’re constantly experiencing things like climate change, that really hit a note with people.”
Extra bear information: 3 males approached a bunch of untamed brown bears in Alaska. They’re now going through federal expenses.
Cute and cuddly, but in addition lethal:Brown bears are the deadliest wild animal in North America
Cheryl Spencer, a ranger on the park, stated over 650,000 individuals voted final yr, and they’re anticipating much more this time round.
Whereas the competition might be considered as fat-shaming these bears, it is really a necessity for them to get this huge. With winter across the nook, hibernation means these bears will not be consuming for some time.
“Getting fat is what they’re aiming for all summer,” Wolman stated. Spencer added bears lose a few third of their physique weight in hibernation, that means placing on the burden is crucial to their survival.
Whereas the celebration is all in enjoyable, it really raises consciousness for a way bears are coping with local weather change. The rationale these bears can achieve all the burden is due to the abundance of salmon current within the space. If the salmon had been to vanish, the bears can be in nice hazard.
“Things that could affect the salmon run would directly have massive effects on not only bears, but the lives of other wildlife out here,” Spencer stated. “They’re sort of the heartbeat here.”
Meet a few of the bears competing
A complete of 12 bears will compete for the title of 2021 Fats Bear Week champion. Voting is open till a champion is decided on Oct. 5, also referred to as Fats Bear Tuesday. Voting might be achieved right here, and also you and your pals can obtain a bracket to fill out, March Insanity-style.
This yr’s contenders are a few of the chonkiest the annual celebration has seen with 5 of the seven previous winners as soon as once more competing. Listed here are a few of the bears vying for this yr’s title.
Fats Bear Week reigning champion, the grownup male was first recognized in 2004 and has lived as much as his jet airplane identify. He additionally has apparently asserted himself as probably the most dominant bear on the Brooks River along with his dimension alone, permitting him to decide on any feeding spot he needs.
“747 is just an absolute tank,” Parker stated. “Last year, we estimated him to be about 1,400 pounds at the end of fall… I think he’s fatter this year too.”
Generally known as the bear that went viral on Twitter, Holly was first recognized in 2001 and is likely one of the “more experienced and tolerant mother bears” within the competitors. She additionally was the 2019 winner.
“She’s like a gorgeous fat round bear,” Wolman stated.
Wolman stated 128 Grazer’s opening spherical matchup with 435 Holly is “really hard” to choose. Grazer first appeared in 2005 as a younger cub and this yr launched her two cubs to the river. She is taken into account probably the most defensive mom among the many bears.
“I’ve seen her in person just like stand up to a massive bear,” Wolman stated. “She’s just like the epitome of girl power.”
Essentially the most adorned bear within the match, Otis is a three-time champion. He is one of many oldest bears as he was already round 4-years-old when he was first noticed in 2001. Being an older bear, he’s strategic in getting meals and avoids preventing for spots towards youthful, stronger bears. He additionally appears poised to win his fourth title.
“He’s known for sitting in his ‘office’ on the far side of the fall. He just chills there and waits for the fish to come to him,” Wolman stated. “He really did put on the pounds this year.”
One of many youthful bears within the competitors, Walker has grown into fairly the aggressive bear and now asserts his dominance over others. He’s estimated to weigh greater than the 1,000 kilos he weighed final yr. He is additionally certainly one of Spencer’s favorites to win.
“He’s been on the bracket a couple times before, but he’s never won. However, he’s like the fattest he’s ever been this year,” she stated.
Arguably the most effective names within the competitors, Chunk’s character can be value noting. He’ll problem bears for meals and feeding areas, however may even play with different bears, which is not frequent for dominant bears. Final yr, he weighed an estimated 1,200 kilos.
To see the remainder of the contenders and study extra about each, you possibly can “meet the bears” right here.
Watch:Brown bears grasp synchronized napping in cute footage