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Fat Bear Week Crowns its Jumbo-Jet Sized Winner

Bear 747 took home the final prize in Katmai National Park and Preserve.

By: Kyle Frost + Save to a List

Every year, bears flock to the Brooks River in Katmai National Park to gorge themselves on salmon before hibernating for the winter. And every year since 2014 Fat Bear Week crowns a winner for the biggest, fattest bear.

In the spring, bears emerged from their hibernation often having lost a up to a third of their body weight. They spend the spring and summer packing on the pounds -- adding as much girth as they can before the next round of hibernation. Bears gorge on the richest, most easily obtainable foods they can find, and in Katmai National Park, that most often means salmon. Dozens of bears gather at Brooks River to feast on salmon from late June until mid October. Perhaps no other river on Earth offers bears the chance to feed on salmon for so long. 

Run by Explore.org, Fat Bear Week is the culmination of a season's worth of webcam watching. After a hefty single-elimination bracket, Bear 747 defeated Bear 32 (aka Chunk) to take home the final prize. Here's the oversized bracket in all its fat bear glory:

"When asked what he intends to do now that he has won, the only response was a look before going back to fishing in the Jacuzzi near the Brooks Falls, one of his favorite fishing spots," the park said.

If you want to keep up on the bears as they continue packing on the pounds, here's the live feed of Brooks Falls:

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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