Fat Bear Week has come and gone, and on Tuesday, Katmai National Park declared an enormous ursine winner. What is Fat Bear Week, you ask? It’s an annual tradition where everyone chooses the fattest, best brown bear in the region of Katmai National Park, Alaska, before these enormous bears head into hibernation. The new fat-bear champion is a 50-year-old chubbo by the name of Otis, a mostly toothless wonder who somehow managed to chomp his way to his fourth Fat Bear championship. Here he is in action:
This year’s Fat Bear Week season kicked off on September 23 with its inaugural Fat Bear Junior week, also known as the Little League of Fat Bear Week. The winner, a supremely shaggy adolescent simply called 132’s Spring Cub, advanced to compete with the big bears for the ultimate Fat Bear prize, which was a little unfair to the cub, but I guess a nice confidence boost.
132’s Spring Cub went toe to toe with contestants such as: 32 Chunk (a little too on the nose, if you ask me); 534 Holly, a “toasted marshmallow”–colored mama bear; and her biological child Spring Cub, on the mend from a porcupine-quill-related injury to his front paw.
For this year’s voters, the supervisors of Fat Bear Week offered some helpful advice on metrics worthy of their consideration, including annual growth; whether or not the bear has kids to feed (which makes it harder for her to store fat for herself); and, of course, the most obvious: which bear is fattest. Other metrics that were taken into account: fur shagginess, stomach curvature, lack of agility, and general handsomeness.
Congratulations to Otis and his remaining teeth! May he have a restful and plentiful hibernation.
This post has been updated.