It’s that time of the year when the internet votes on its favorite enormous Ursus: Welcome to Fat Bear Week 2023!
It’s time to make your bracket and vote for your choice to win the honor of this year’s champion chunky bear.
What is Fat Bear Week?
Fat Bear Week is an annual contest between the biggest bears at Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska.
The single elimination tournament features 12 bears who go head-to-head in an internet popularity contest to be crowned the champion.
People vote on the brown bear they “believe best exemplifies fatness,” according to Explore.org, who hosts the competition alongside Katmai National Park.
“As Brooks River’s world-famous bears make their final preparations for winter hibernation, the Katmai Conservancy, explore.org, and rangers at Katmai National Park and Preserve celebrate their success,” a press release from Katmai Conservancy and Explore.org reads.
How to vote during Fat Bear Week
Voting for the first round of Fat Bear Week starts Wednesday at 10 a.m. MDT.
To vote for your favorite, go to fatbearweek.org.
Next, for each open poll, click the photo of the bear you prefer. You will need to enter your email and click “I am not a robot” to have your vote counted.
Voting for the champion between the final two bears will start on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. MDT.
Last year’s champion
Last year, Bear 747 won the Fat Bear title for the second time. Weighing in at 1,400 pounds, 747 is likely one of the fattest brown bears in the world, the Deseret News reported.
Will the reigning champ be able to defend his title? Though 747 is a clear fan-favorite, he has some tough competition this year.
Meet this year’s competitors
This year, 12 chunky bears face off to became the internet’s favorite.
See the photos below for before (taken in the summer of this year) and after (taken in September of this year) pictures: