It's Fat Bear Week for Alaska's Katmai National Park.

Luke Jones/Flickr

Fat Bear Week is the wholesome bracket competition you didn’t know you needed

Who will emerge the fattest?


Kris Seavers

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 5, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 4:50 am CDT

Winter is coming, and if you’re bear, that means fattening up. And if if you’re not a bear, you can kick back and enjoy the wholesome entertainment provided by Fat Bear Week.

According to the Cut, the yearly tradition began back in 2014, when Alaska’s Katmai National Park introduced Fat Bear Tuesday. Likely due to popular interest, the event has now expanded into a week-long bracket competition.

The park provides a live cam and a Facebook page so people across the world can pick and vote for their favorite bears. The competition began on Wednesday and goes through Tuesday, Oct. 9, when one bear will emerge as the fattest.

The park has been posting live updates, including GIFs of the bears’ progress.

The frontrunner so far is bear 747, who according to one ecologist ate 67,000 calories of salmon in about three hours.

Another bear, No. 409, was a hit on Twitter.

In a press release, the park explained the bears are going through “hyperphagia,” which means they eat constantly.

“Since July, the bears have seen dramatic and transformative weight gain that will be on full display during Fat Bear Week,” the press release said.

H/T the Cut

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*First Published: Oct 5, 2018, 9:41 pm CDT