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This National Park Wants You To Vote For Its Fattest Bear

There are a few simple pleasures in life -- a good book, taking a bath after a long day on the tools, and the chance to admire a substantially beefed-up brown bear from the safety of your home.

Luckily for us, there's an entire week dedicated to doing just that, and we're in the thick of it.

Fat Bear Week is the "Olympics of obesity" held by Alaska's Katmai National Park and Preserve every year.

Running from October 2 to 8, the elimination bracket contest lets punters vote for their favourite brown bears who have bulked up within the park ahead of hibernation.

We're talking about big, ol' round boys who have been camping out on the banks of the Brooks River doing nothing but chomp down on Salmon for an entire season.

The competition runs on the park's Facebook page, where voters are provided with a snapshot of each bear taken shortly after they awoke from their last big sleep, alongside a photo of the glorious glutton they have since grown into.

As it stands, this year's chunky champion will be one of three contenders -- 775 Lefty (who is already through to the final round), 128 Grazer and 435 Holly.

Going by the comments and general Internet chatter, Holly is a real fan favourite.

"The senior sow is ready to eat up the competition," the park wrote in her latest round of voting.

"After emancipating her cubs in the spring she has become a Brooks River empty nester. A snorkelling sensation, this gal was able to keep every salmon for herself and it shows."

Live webcam feeds on explore.org also give followers the chance to watch on in real-time, as the bears skilfully hunt for prey.

There are an estimated 2000 brown bears in Katmai National Park, which stretches over some four million acres of Southwest Alaskan wilderness.

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Now in its fifth year, Fat Bear Week was initially created to raise awareness of the bears and the important migrating salmon they rely on to survive the winter.

During hibernation, which can last for up to half of the year, a bear can lose up to one-third of its body mass.

"The bears need stores of fat to help them survive their Sleeping Beauty impersonations," the national park said in a statement.

Beadnose in all her chunky glory. Image: Katmai National Park

Last year's winner, Beadnose, has sadly not returned for this year's contest.

The mama bear -- who is a mature 20 years old -- has not been seen in the park this year, Mashable reports.

Having lived to what is a ripe old age for a brown bear, there is the chance Beadnose did not survive the winter.