CNN

Fat Bear Week is finally here, and we’re ready to cast our vote for the chunkiest one of them all

Oct 3, 2019, 7:15 AM
The annual competition, held by the Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska, crowns the winne...
The annual competition, held by the Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska, crowns the winner the fattest bear of the state's Brooks River, with the help of online voters like you.

(CNN) — Fat Bear week is here to remind us there’s still good in the world.

And by that, we mean pictures like this one:

Fat Bear week is here to remind us there’s still good in the world.
CREDIT: Katmai National Park & Preserve from Facebook

I’m listening…

The annual competition, held by the Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska, crowns the winner the fattest bear of the state’s Brooks River, with the help of online voters like you.

Alaska’s brown bears are the largest brown bears and eat up to 90 pounds of food each day, including other smaller mammals, salmon, berries, flowers and herbs.

Starting October 2, the area’s chunkiest bears will compete in head-to-head matches running through October 8. The winner of each round will move to the next round until the finalists compete for the crown of “2019 Fattest Bear.”

And don’t worry, you won’t hurt anyone’s feelings with your vote.

“There is no shame in winning this contest as large amounts of body fat in brown bears is indicative of good health and strong chances of survival,” the National Park Service said in a press release.

“During winter hibernation, which can last for up to half of the year in their den, a bear could lose up to one third of its body mass. In preparation, the bears are entering hyperphagia this time of year, a state in which they eat nearly non-stop.”

The park, famous for its volcanoes, magical wilderness and brown bears, kicked off the competition five years ago.

It holds one of the largest concentration of brown bears in the world, according to the release.

They’re all so glorious. How do I choose?

With so many choices, we know it’s hard picking just one bear to crown.

So you can be one of the hundreds of viewers on one of the park’s bear web cams, to spy on the bears and start making up your mind.

You’re welcome.

Male brown bears weigh anywhere from 600 to 900 pounds and by the time they go into hibernation, can jump up to a staggering 1000 pounds, NPS said. Adult females usually weigh about a third less. The bears often get so big, that they have to dig a hole to stuff their belly in when they lay down to rest.

And here’s a little more about the park’s bears, from former Katmai park ranger Mike Fitz:

“We continue to see the stories of individual bears unfold along the river. Bear 402 utilizes her two decades of experience to raise her three yearlings while one young bear, 719, is experiencing motherhood for the first time.

“At Brook Falls, the hierarchy continues to shuffle,” Fitz said. “Bear 856, a large and assertive adult male, continues to reign at the top, but he’s nearly 20 years old. How long will he be able to maintain his position as the river’s most dominant bear?”

Fill me in. Who are the top contenders?

We’re glad you asked. This year will make for some tough matches.

Bear 747 seems to be a favorite, but may have a tough time beating 435 Holly and 128 Grazer, two female bears that have been really preparing for this showdown.

But there’s plenty more good options for you.

After all, these are all chubby bears we’re talking about.

And if you like this competition…

Be kind to your environment.

As a friendly reminder, the park said: “Fat bears only exist because of clean water and healthy ecosystems.”

Climate change, for example, poses a big threat for these glorious creatures.

As the sea ice melts and polar bears find themselves on land more often, they begin to compete with brown bears for food.

“Such changes in food selection can result in large ecosystem changes as species adapted to be prey no longer have population control from predators, and other species suffer reduced populations due to additional predation,” NPS said.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

CNN

A surface-to-surface missile is fired into the sea off the east coast in this handout picture provi...
Yoonjung Seo, Caitlin Hu, Eric Cheung and Brad Lendon, CNN

US and South Korea test-fire missiles in continued response after North Korea launch

In response to a recent test missile launch by North Korea, the US and South Korea launched four missiles off the Korean Peninsula Wednesday morning.
7 hours ago
Three Fresh Carnitas Tacos on a plate wth lime and radish...
Casey Barber, CNN

Make every day National Taco Day with these tasty recipes

October 4 is National Taco Day, but any day in October (or any month, really) is a worthwhile opportunity to dive into the diverse world of tacos.
1 day ago
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) with Ukrainian separatist regional leaders Vladimir Saldo (L),...
Olga Voitovych and Joshua Berlinger, CNN

Russian Parliament begins process to rubber-stamp annexations as Moscow struggles to define borders

Despite there being no set boundaries, Russia's parliament began the process of approving Vladmir Putin's decision to annex part of Ukraine.
1 day ago
FILE - This photo provided by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un del...
Yoonjung Seo, Emiko Jozuka, Junko Ogura, Brad Lendon and Simone McCarthy, CNN

Japan issues rare alert as North Korea fires missile without warning over main island

The US Indo-Pacific Command also released a statement saying American commitments to the defense of Japan and South Korea "remain ironclad."
1 day ago
FORT MYERS BEACH, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 02:   In this aerial view,  destruction left in the wake of Hur...
Nouran Salahieh, CNN

Florida faces an ’emotional roller coaster’ as search for Hurricane Ian survivors continues

Many of the Ian-related deaths -- 42 -- have been reported in southwestern Florida's Lee County, which includes Fort Myers and Sanibel Island.
2 days ago
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 17: Sacheen Littlefeather on stage at AMPAS Presents An Evening...
Toyin Owoseje, CNN

Sacheen Littlefeather, Native American activist and actress, dead at 75

In August, the Academy formally apologized to Littlefeather for the mistreatment she experienced during her speech and in the years that followed.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Fat Bear Week is finally here, and we’re ready to cast our vote for the chunkiest one of them all