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  • Writer's pictureBryan Donoghue

Fat Bear Week 2021 Begins Today!

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Fat Bear Week 2020 champion 747 in all his Fat Bear Glory - enough glory to overcome a bear known only as CHUNK

Fat Bear Week 2020 winner, the mighty "747" - Photo Credit: N. Boak

Every September, teams up with the park rangers of Katmai National Park in Alaska to bring us FAT BEAR WEEK - which is exactly as amazing as it sounds. With winter fast approaching, the ursine residents of the park have been working hard stuffing themselves with thousands of calories worth of salmon, to fuel themselves for a long season of hibernation. To that effect, now is the time of year when these brown bears have reached peak physical fatness - a time to be celebrated by all fortunate enough to view them in all of their glorious obesity.

a Fat Bear, sitting on a sandbar in a river, looking, well, fat. Maybe a little depressed too, I don't think he won it last year. Great ears

In an effort to spread the wealth, the Park Rangers up at Katmai have set up cameras within park limits to capture bears doing bear things. These rangers have 10 cameras streaming throughout various areas of the park where the bear population is known to frequent - allowing people across the world to safely appreciate the epic hilarity that only the fattest of bears can provide.

The live streamed BearCams set up by the Katmai rangers are some of the most entertaining, enjoyable, and strangely cathartic viewing opportunities on the internet. These cameras run year-round, but this time of year features some of the highest rates of activity as the bears scramble to pack on the pounds in anticipation of a long winter of hibernation. Sometimes they fish, sometimes they eat, sometimes they battle for prime fishing and eating locations.... and sometimes they just take a nap. Bear cubs are also prevalent on these video feeds - perhaps the only safe way for the majority of us to get a good look at these adorable (and also fat) majestic balls of fluff.

Because this is America, where the spirit of competition invades everything we do (for better or for worse), the enterprising folks at have turned the spectacle of fat bears into an interactive tournament, allowing fat bear aficionados to vote to ascertain which is the fattest bear in the park.

The epic journey of fatness on clear display by Fat Bear Junior winner 132 Spring Cub (we need a way better name than that - Fluffy Fatty Bearlet? Nah - you can do better than that

This past weekend showcased the Junior Bracket, featuring the inaugural tournament to ascertain the fattest of Fat Bear Cubs - with the winner earning an entry into the senior bracket. Congratulations, Fat Bear 132's Spring Cub, and best of luck fatting your way through the senior circuit!

Today - Monday, September 27th at 7pm ET/4pm PT, the geniuses behind Fat Bear Week will reveal the 2021 bracket that enables bear-lovers around the world to vote elimination-style for their favorite fattest brown bear in Katmai. Click here for a sneak preview of the fattest of the fat, and be sure to head to between Wednesday, September 29th and Tuesday, October 5th to vote!

Bear no evil, bear no evil, bear no evil. Three bears sit and watch in speculation and mild trepidation as bears far fatter than them compete for this esteemed honor.

Fat Bear Week Spectators - Photo Credit: Gary Schultz (prints available)


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