WILDLIFE

Fat Bear Week 2021 crowns its winner

Oct 7, 2021, 11:51 AM
480 Otis is a four-time winner of Fat Bear Week.
Mandatory Credit:	From C.Spencer/NPS...
480 Otis is a four-time winner of Fat Bear Week. Mandatory Credit: From C.Spencer/NPS

    (CNN) — A generously girthed brown bear by the name of 480 Otis is again the winner of Fat Bear Week, the fourth time this ursine wonder has claimed the crown.

The portly veteran — who was also champion in 2014, 2016 and 2017 — defeated ​​151 Walker as voted by the public, according to the Katmai National Park & Preserve in Southwest Alaska.

No details were available about Otis’ weight, but Walker’s biography disclosed that he was believed to weigh 1,000 pounds last year “but appears to be larger this year.”

Twelve bears started in the celebration of corpulence on September 29 before the final online showdown Tuesday.

“As we celebrate, like a true champ 480 is still chowing down,” the park said after the votes were counted.

The achievement is even more remarkable given that Otis, at around 25 years old, is one of the older bears at Brooks River and, according to his biography, “is missing two canine teeth and many of his other teeth are greatly worn.”

The fatter the bear, the healthier they are

Fat bears thrive in Katmai, specifically on the Brooks River. It’s one of the largest and healthiest “runs” of salmon — that’s when salmon migrate upstream and lay eggs on riverbeds — in the world, according to the park. And in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, where part of the park is located, brown bears outnumber the human residents.

The fatter the bear, the healthier they’ll be when they emerge from hibernation. The national park’s bears fatten up before they hibernate for the winter, when they must live off their fat stores while waiting out the cold weather in their dens.

Male brown bears weigh anywhere from 600 to 900 pounds and by the time they go into hibernation, can jump up to a staggering 1,000 pounds, according to the park. 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.

“During peak season, we have seen bears catch 40+ salmon in a day (though 20 salmon is more common),” the park said on its Facebook page. “And if you estimate each salmon has roughly 4500 calories pre-spawned, that is a lot of food!”

It added: “We haven’t seen bears so fat they can’t move, but we have seen bears definitely have difficulty navigating steep banks down to the river.”

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

Wildlife

Utah's Hogle Zoo welcomes a new red panda, Priya, to its Asian Highlands exhibit. Photo credit: Uta...
Devin Oldroyd

Hogle Zoo welcomes new Red Panda in effort to conserve the species

Utah's Hogle Zoo welcomes a new red panda, Priya, to its Asian Highlands exhibit. It hopes to breed her with Mow Mow, a red panda currently living there.
1 day ago
Remaining permits for elk and deer hunts this fall will be available to purchase in July....
Mark Jones

Remaining deer, elk permits can be purchased in July

Remaining deer and elk permits for hunts this fall will be available to purchase in July.
3 days ago
daybreak drinking water...
Lindsay Aerts

UPDATE: Daybreak’s goose was not protecting HER eggs

Now that her eggs have hatched, one goose in Daybreak as loosened her grip on the community.
14 days ago
Boulger Reservoir...
Martha Harris

Boulger Reservoir to be drained for upcoming mining project

The Division of Water Rights says they will drain the Boulger reservoir out of precaution to prevent a dam failure.
18 days ago
mountain lion on a rocky ledge....
Samantha Herrera

Mountain lion captured in Pleasant Grove

The mountain lion was first spotted in Pleasant Grove on Monday when it had reportedly killed chickens from a backyard coop.
21 days ago
A red fox. Two red foxes tested positive for bird flu in Utah...
Samantha Herrera

Two Utah foxes test positive for bird flu in Utah

Utah wildlife officials confirmed that two foxes had tested positive for bird flu. One was found in Murray and the other in Taylorsville.
22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
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.
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.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Fat Bear Week 2021 crowns its winner