Fat Bear Week, the annual celebration of all things chubby and ursine, is here. For one week starting on Wednesday, 12 of the most salmon-stuffed bears from Katmai’s Brooks Falls will duke it out in a March Madness-style bracket on Explore.org, with the biggest (as decided by viewer votes) move on towards a final matchup on October 6.
Think you can pick the winner? We want to know. Tell us who you think the Fattest Bear is; choose right and you’ll have a chance to win a new SABRE Frontiersman Insider Bear Canister. Read on to enter and see some of our own picks, but hurry: Voting closes when the first matchup begins on September 30, 12 pm Eastern.
Bears to Watch
The Queen: 435 Holly
The reigning champion of Fat Bear Week, Holly barely left the river last year and it paid off in a Michelin Man-style physique that earned her the crown. This year, she’ll face off with 11 worthy rivals, including her own cub.
The Old-Timer: 480 Otis
At about 21 years of age, Otis is one of the oldest bears on the river. But don’t let his age fool you: This veteran Fat Bear has won the title three times, in 2014, 2016, and 2017, with his patient fishing technique and energy conservation (sometimes he naps right in the river.)
The Dark Horse: 747
One of the heaviest bears on the river, the aptly-numbered 747 made it to the penultimate round last year before falling to eventual runner-up 775 Lefty. With Lefty out of competition, could this be his year?
Get to know the rest of the candidates on the Katmai bear cams wiki.
Enter to Win
Entries for the contest have closed. Good luck, everyone!