Fattest Bear: Who Will Take Out The Title?

The grizzlies at Katmai National Park and Reserve in Alaska are chowing down in a race for survival.

What you need to know
  • Bears don't hibernate due to cold in Winter but due to a lack of food available
  • Bears can lose between 25 and 40 per cent of their body weight during hibernation
  • Bears can hibernate for five to seven months each year

While most of us struggle to keep off the winter weight, for brown bears being heavy is a necessity as they get ready to face the harsh winter hibernation period.

For months leading up to the northern winter, it's a feeding frenzy as bears devour salmon non-stop in an attempt to gain enough body fat to last them through the cold.

The bears at Brooks River stand at the top of waterfalls, skillfully waiting for salmon to jump into their open mouths as the fish try to make it upstream.

Talk about fast food.

Weight gain is encouraged. Bears can hibernate for up to seven months and need as much fat stored as possible while the food supply dwindles during the colder months.

For the fourth year in a row the Katmai National Park in Alaska has decided to turn to the public to decide on which bear has done the best job of bulking up.

Competition is fierce and keen punters can keep an eye on chubby progress their favourite bear with live coverage on Bear Cam.

Just to keep things fair, before and after photos are being posted on the national park's Facebook page so the transformation can be fairly judged.

As all the bears are wild, they can't be weighed, so voters are looking out for bulging tummies, pudgy paws and bootylicious behinds to decide who will take out the crown.

And the competition is life or death with bears losing about 40 per cent of their body weight as they snore away the Winter.

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Unfortunately favourite Walker didn't make the cut and was skinned out of the competition during the first round.

Outsiders Otis and Holly provided some tough competition, until Divot proved he could chomp down and pushed through to the final.

Currently Beadnose is in the lead, with Chunk and an unknown competitor bear '747' close behind.

Image: Katmai National Park and Preserve Facebook

The winner of the biggest bear will be crowned on October 9th, also known as 'Fat Bear Tuesday' but we prefer to think of the winner as just 'full figured.

Winter is coming!

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Update: Katmai announced that for the second year in a row, bear 409, also known as Beadnose has taken out the title of Alaska chubbiest bear for "her radiant rolls and fabulous flab."

Congrats Beadnose -- ten daily salutes you and your dedication to the cause.