So many good reasons to adore drop — crisp air, colorful leaves, sweater weather and of course, Extra fat Bear Week! Each individual drop, the level of competition showcases chunky brown bears that are packing on lbs to put together for wintertime hibernation. Brooks River in Katmai National Park, Alaska homes a massive inhabitants of these hefty bears exactly where the level of competition requires spot. Votes are cast on line for the fattest bear in a March Madness-design bracket and the viewers will help pick the ultimate victor.

480 Otis was crowned this year’s chunky winner on Tuesday, amongst the 12 contestants who worked really hard to chow down just before wintertime. The 25-yr-old winner, who stands at all around one,000 lbs or 454 kilograms, took household the title for the fourth time due to the fact the commence of the level of competition in 2014. Normally, grownup male brown bears can weigh up to one,two hundred lbs or 544 kilograms.

Extra fat Bear Week continues to be a drop tradition to unfold recognition of the brown bears’ encounters as they battle for foodstuff and survival just before Alaska’s harsh chilly time comes.

Hefty Historical past

Pleasurable as the contest is for human beings, for the ursine participants of Extra fat Bear Week, attaining weight is very important for survival. In buy to put together for hibernation, these omnivorous giants endeavor to raise their entire body mass by consuming and consuming nonstop. For the duration of the harsh Alaskan wintertime, which can final five to 8 months, the temperatures are frigid and foodstuff is scarce. The bears, of course, lie minimal in their dens and rely on their very own entire body fats for survival. Getting weight can also assistance bears safe mating chances and permit the females to guidance the delivery and development of cubs.

When it arrives to their diet regime, these hefty animals will practically take in just about nearly anything and everything that they can scarf down in the drop months. In buy to fatten up, brown bears can take in up to ninety lbs of foodstuff every day! However their main nourishment arrives from nuts, berries, fruits and leaves, bears will also dine on other animals like mammals, reptiles and fish. For the brown bears in Katmai National Park, which is household to a lot more bears than persons, sustenance normally involves salmon. Mike Fitz, a previous ranger at Katmai and the creator of Extra fat Bear Week, explains that many of the Extra fat Bear Week contestants feed on the available salmon at Brooks River between June and Oct. “Extra fat Bear Week is an opportunity to imagine a lot more about a balanced and effective ecosystem that supports the brown bears,” says Fitz.

Persuasive Competition

The 2021 Extra fat Bear Week winner, 480 Otis, a medium-massive grownup male, was crowned as winner inspite of a rough battle towards his rivals. Normally, Extra fat Bear Week is a solitary-elimination on line match in which 12 Alaskan brown bears in Brooks River are selected to compete. Mainly because a lot of brown bears are existing in the park, narrowing it down to just 12 contestants can be rough. According to Fitz, the bears are normally selected by the park rangers, based on a range of components these as their time of arrival at Brooks River. An early summer season arrival at the river guarantees that the bear is photographed just before and just after their weight get. A powerful storyline is also a driving variable when selecting a contestant. The viewers enjoys to see a veteran bear with talent and resilience, like Otis, competing yr just after yr.

Following the bears are picked, the viewers keeps voting for their favourite until eventually just one bear is still left standing. The level of competition is subjective, says Fitz, and the viewers is inspired to take into consideration many components when buying a winner, these as how substantially weight the bear has received about the final handful of months and their salmon catch rate. Other components involve sympathizing with the wellness challenges of older bears or the problems of mother bears to get weight as they cope with the extra challenge of fending for their young.

Despite his older age, 480 Otis received the hearts of the crowd nonetheless all over again. The bear, who also received the fatty title in 2014, 2016 and 2017, was initially spotted as a cub in Brooks River in 2001. According to the bear’s bio, Otis competed with youthful customers whilst also experiencing a lot of challenges. For illustration, he was lacking his two canine enamel, a major disadvantage, as a bear’s enamel are very important for slicing by foodstuff. Otis was spotted in the river later on than standard this yr, but even now had a large salmon catch rate.

151 Walker, a massive assertive grownup male bear, faced off towards Ottis in the final spherical. Walker’s bio explains his improved entire body dimension and assertive disposition. Nevertheless, Otis took household the prize with fifty one,230 votes, beating Walker who had 44,834 votes. Despite all odds, his endurance and knowledge received Otis the audience’s adore and title as 2021’s Extra fat Bear Week winner.