Katmai Fat Bear Week 2022

Fat Bear Week is a time to celebrate success and survival. It's a way to honor Katmai's brown bears' adaptation, resilience, and strength.

Bears are matched against one another in a "March Madness"-style battle, and online visitors can vote to choose who will be crowned Fat Bear Week 2022 Champion.

They are the internet-famous bears that live in Katmai National Park and Preserve, and during the summer, they gain an impressive amount of weight.

Every year, many of these bears, including the singular, persevering Otis, return to feast on calorie-rich salmon in the park's Brooks River.

Fat Bear Week celebrates the hard effort bears undertake to survive and gives us the chance to gawk at big animals and spawning salmon in Alaska's Katmai National Park.

The 12 brown bears are arranged in a round, and voters select who advances from each battle. Voting begins at 12 p.m. ET each day from Oct. 5 through Oct. 11.

The event exposes how malnourished and starving bears transform after hibernation. According to the source, a male adult can gain weighing 600-900 pounds to well over 1,000 pounds

Contestants are tracked by numbers, although seasoned animals have names like Chunk or Holly. Then there's the 747, whose number and size match the jumbo jet.

Otis, who is the defending champion for this year, was also the winner of the very first Fat Bear competition eight years ago.

As the story shows, the bears' backstories help the park educate the public about bear behavior, from fishing to survival to how they interact with other animals.