King Salmon, Alaska, has a pretty special way of honoring and celebrating the brown bears of Katmai National Park and Preserve, and that's by hosting an absolutely amazing bracket style-competition that takes place from October 4- October 10, lovingly known as Fat Bear Week.
Fat Bear Week is a global tournament-style bracket competition in which the public votes for their favorite fattest bear. The National Park Service launched Fat Bear Week in 2014, when it was simply Fat Bear Tuesday, with the goal of celebrating the Brooks River brown bears at Katmai and its healthy and remarkable ecosystem. It was so successful that it expanded to Fat Bear Week the following year.
From the NPS.GOV website: "Fat Bear Week highlights the accomplishments of these burly bruins and shines a spotlight on the healthy ecosystem in which they can thrive. The Brooks River is part of the Bristol Bay watershed, one of the last great salmon runs left on earth. Without the pristine Brooks River ecosystem to support an abundant salmon run, there would be no Fat Bear champions."
The Fat Bear website explains, "Katmai National Park’s brown bears are some of the largest bears on Earth. Adult male bears average 700 – 900 pounds in mid summer. In late summer and fall, the biggest males often weigh more than 1,200 pounds. Adult female bears average smaller than adult males by one-third to one-half, largely due to the energetic costs of raising cubs." That's a whole bunch of bear!
Happy voting everyone!
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