After more than a million votes were cast, National Park Service has crowned its Fat Bear Week champion.
What Is Fat Bear Week?
The name Fat Bear Week pretty much says everything you need to know. It is a celebration of hefty bears living in Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve.
Additionally, the National Park Service says they also want to promote Katmai’s healthy ecosystem with the contest.
“For bears, fat equals survival,” the NPS says on its website. “Each winter, bears enter the den where they will not eat or drink until they emerge in spring. During this time, they may lose up to one-third of their body weight as they rely solely on their fat reserves.”
For Fat Bear Week, park rangers create a tournament bracket where the massive bears a pitted against each other in an online fan vote.
Meet This Year’s Fat Bear Week Winner
After more than 1.3 million votes, the bear known as 128 Grazer was crowned this year’s Fat Bear Week Champion.
“This fierce queen ran away with every one of her matches (and our hearts) and has earned her very first #FatBearWeek win,” the NPS shared on social media.
According to her official bio, Grazer is a feisty mama bear who has raised two litters of cubs. As a single mama, she has often had to fend off attacks by much larger bears to keep her cubs safe.
“Her behavior produced benefits beyond the protection of he cubs,” her bio states. “In summer 2023, many other bear remembered her reputation and Grazer maintained a high level of dominance even though she was single.”
Grazer outlasted a strong field of fat bears, including three-time champion Otis, to take this year’s title.
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