KING SALMON, Alaska (KRON) – Behold the most bodacious beauty of them all!
The winner of an Alaska national park’s annual “Fat Bear Week” competition has been crowned.
Meet this year’s winner, Earl of Avoirdupois, bear 747.
In a statement, park officials said 747 weighed in at over 1,400 pounds!
For the annual event, Katmai rangers release a list of the chubbiest brown bears of the Brooks River and invite the public to vote on their favorites in a single-elimination, “survival of the fattest” tournament, akin to a March Madness-style bracket.
This year, 12 bears competed from Sept. 30 through Oct. 5.
Newbie 747 defeated last year’s champ Holly.
If you didn’t already know, brown bears put on weight for winter, according to the park service, bulking up to curb their hunger and survive the coldest months of the year.
The celebration of the brown bears and their winter weight gain has been around since 2012.
“For these bears, fatness means odds are good for a successful hibernation during which time they live off their accumulated fat, losing up to 1/3 of their body mass in the process,” Katmai officials said. “This week celebrates their success and wishes them a good hibernation!”
“Fat bears exemplify the richness of Katmai National Park and Bristol Bay, Alaska, a wild region that is home to more brown bears than people and the largest, heathiest runs of sockeye salmon left on the planet,” park officials said.
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