Courtesy of the National Park Service
The winner of this year's Fat Bear Week: Bear 747

Raise your glass to his excellency, Bear 747, and cheers to a happy hibernation.

J.D. Simkins  – October 8, 2020

Katmai National Park has officially crowned the winner of its annual Fat Bear Week. Introducing the Calorie King, the Lord of Lard, the Sire of Stout, Mr. Thick himself, Bear 747.

First documented in 2004, Bear 747 spent this past year becoming what Katmai officials recently called “maybe the largest and heaviest bear on the Brooks River,” with looks that suggested “he was fat enough to hibernate in July, and yet, [continued] to eat until his belly seemed to drag along the ground by late September.”

Classic Bear 747.

Twelve fat bears competed for this year’s crown in a head-to-head, March Madness-style single elimination bracket. Four of the 12, including Bear 747 and last year’s plump champion, Holly, were large enough to deserve a bye in the first round.

“These brown bears’ power of packing on the pounds gets them through the winter and able to live to compete another year,” the National Park Service said in a release. “With or without the lasso of truth around us, our story remains the same: fat bears = healthy bears.”

The contest, which is conducted each year to determine which of the park’s rotund brown bears is deserving of the coveted title of “fattest,” concluded just as Alaska’s bear population races to tack on extra calories ahead of months of winter hibernation, when they will go without food and water and lose a staggering one-third of their total body weight.

Documentation of the bears’ progress, including before and after photos of each contestant, are included as part of the contest and are available online.

One look at Bear 747’s unparalleled devotion to getting down with the thickness makes it indisputable that every day is, in fact, glutes day.

Bear 747’s progress from June, left, to September.

National Park Service

Bear 747 could not be reached for comment, but it is believed he will be celebrating his remarkable victory by eating salmon, sleeping, enjoying tree-assisted back scratches, and eating more salmon.

Katmai National Park and Bristol Bay, Alaska, remain home to a population of brown bears that outnumbers humans. With the availability of the best sockeye salmon buffet in the world, it’s not hard to see why.

“[We] want to extend our thanks to each and every person who took the time to vote in these competitions throughout Fat Bear Week, as this competition simply couldn’t happen without them,” NPS officials said.

Raise your glass to his excellency, Bear 747, and cheers to a happy hibernation.


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