Alaskan Park Announces Winner Of This Year’s Fat Bear Week Contest

Every year, Katmai National Park invites voters to celebrate gleefully gluttonous bears by voting on its biggest grizzlies during Fat Bear Week.

Now the park has announced this year’s winner, Otis, a 25-year-old bear and four-time Fat Bear Week champion who also won the park’s inaugural competition in 2014.

Photo: Twitter/ Katmai National Park

Otis won Fat Bear Week 2021 with 51,230 votes, according to the park, which announced the fat bear’s triumph on Twitter. Otis, who regained Katmai’s most coveted title from last year’s Fat Bear Week winner, Bear 747, reportedly celebrated by eating more salmon.

“The people have spoken!” park rangers wrote on Twitter. “The portly patriarch of paunch persevered to pulverize the Baron of Beardonkadonk in the final match of #FatBearWeek 2021. 480 Otis can now boast a bevy of bests w/ this fourth 1st place finish. As we celebrate, like a true champ 480 is still chowing down.”


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Roughly 800,000 people voted in this year’s championship bracket, which included before and after photos of the park’s 12 fattest bears. According to the New York Times, bears can gain 4 lbs per day as they bulk up on salmon on the eve of hibernation.

Photo: Katmai National Park

Fat Bear Week 2021 also included a junior bracket featuring four of the park’s heftiest bear cubs.

“Bears are fascinating animals and lead challenging lives, and I think people are happy to celebrate their success each season,” a park spokeswoman told the Times.

Regardless, Otis’s fans were delighted to see the massive bear regain his well-deserved title.

“Forget Rumble in the Jungle it’s all about the obesity in the forestry,” one Team Otis voter wrote on Twitter. “Whilst Otis is 907 yrs old in bear years it hasn’t affected his appetite at all. The only thing stopping the old-timer is forgetting where he put his false teeth just before the salmon arrive.”

“I’m so sorry Walker, you’re huge and amazing,” another voter agreed, “but Otis… Magnificent… Gargantuan… The leg to tummy ratio…”

Otis’s weight wasn’t explicitly disclosed, but according to CNN, runner-up fat bear Walker reportedly weighed 1,000 pounds in 2020 and looks even larger this year.

Congratulations to Otis and all of Katmai’s fat bears. Wishing you a happy hibernation!

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