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Katmai Fat Bear Contest 2019

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Last Updated: 01 November 2020

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Katmai Fat Bear Contest 2019

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Fat Bear Week 2019 officially ends Tuesday night. And the winner is. Fat Bear Week has been an annual event for the past five years in Katmai National Park and Preserve in southwestern Alaska. The idea is to publicize and celebrate the process of bears eating as much as they can to build up crucial fat reserves in advance of winter hibernation. Park rangers make a game out of process March Madness-style bracket matching Bear against Bear, each with photos proving girth and inviting the public to vote on the fattest Bear in each pair. Winners move on to the next round; losers are out. This year's championship round pits Holly against No. 775, Lefty. After 12 hours of online voting, Holly had about 17 500 votes, while Lefty had about 3 600. Katmai Conservancy Media Ranger Naomi Boak said Holly earned her title. It was very hard to get a good picture out of the water, she say, because she was a submarine for the entire month. She does not stop fishing, except to dig belly hole big enough for her to sleep in. Holly and all of this year's 12 contestants are coastal brown bears that forage along the Brooks River. The Alaskan waterway has one of largest concentrations of sockeye salmon in the world, and bears there take full advantage. This year's weeklong competition was a huge success, with a record total of 187 000 votes cast, more than three times last year's total. Along with the novelty and fun of the event, Boak and her fellow Katmai Conservancy Media Ranger Brooklyn White hope it build awareness of natural processes and the need to conserve the unique wilderness area of Brooks River. Not all bears have this same kind of access to these salmon resources, White say, and to an ecosystem that has such clean water. White says many ecosystems, even within Katmai, are breaking down, caused by human encroachment to warming temperatures that are putting salmon under heat duress. That was especially true this year, as Alaska endured an unusually dry summer. Because of drought, salmon were really delayed in reaching the Brooks River, Boak say. Hey stay in small creeks and streams that are very dry. She says bears stay around those streams because of easy fishing and didn't arrive at Brooks until mid-September. Normally they're there, gorging on salmon around the first of month. Because of the delay, Boak says fat bears in this year's competition are still eating and will continue doing so right up until late this month, or early November, when hibernation usually begin. And when it does, it's not as many think as simple as animals merely going to sleep. Is reduction in their metabolic rate, say White, who's worked on Brooks River for the past four years. Heart rate lowers, activity obviously is very minimal and it truly is just their body utilizing that fat to keep this baseline going.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Bears and their admirers

Who doesn't love big, fat bears? At least from a distance. And who doesn't love filling out bracket where winners move on and losers go home? Combine the two and you've get Fat Bear Week, a kind of Ursine March Madness, in October. There are an estimated 2 000 bears in Katmai National Park & Preserve, glorious and massive 4 million-acre stretch of wilderness in Southwest Alaska. Each year, bears spend summer trying to get as fat as they can to prepare for hibernation. And in October, Bear fans get to vote on who is fattest of them all. This year, bears were whittled down to a bracket of 12 contenders. Four heavyweights had first-round byes. Voters on Park's Facebook page choose their favorite from each matchup. The winner moves on to the next round. As competition begin this week, Katmai Conservancy media ranger Naomi Boak had her eye on two of what she call favorites. No. 435. They assign numbers after monitoring bears for a while. And No. 747. He is as big as a jumbo jet, she say. He was so big he looked like he was ready to hibernate in July. He's size of two bears. This isn't fat shaming, Boak say. It is fat glorifying as the biggest Bear has do best job getting ready. They lose a third of their body fat over winter, Boak say. So they need all that fat to survive. Fat Bear Week competitors are coastal brown bears who forage along the Brooks River. They dine voraciously on one of largest sockeye salmon run in the world. There's fascinating science to this annual gorging, Boak say. Hormones that usually inhibit hunger switch off in bears this time of year. Boak and her fellow media ranger, Brooklyn White, chose 2019 competitors variety of bears that include males, females and so-call-sub-adults. Those are emancipated cubs that have grown up and spent years on their own. Boak and White want good before and after photos of 12, showing skinny shots from earlier in year and recent fat ones after feasting. It is kind of reverse infomercial. White said they also wanted bears that people outside the park had got to know after watching them on remote Bear cams along Brooks River. Many of those folks who, you know, time watching cams, would already have a relationship with Bear they were seeing in contest, she say. Bear cams and 5-year-old Fat Bear Week contest are helping people connect with what is going on inside the Park and helping extend the Park's conservation mission. According to Boak, last year, there were nearly 56 000 votes for Fat Bear Week. This year, Park hit that number in the first two days. But there's line, in the park, staffers don't like to cross. They try not to anthropomorphize wild animals in wild place. That's why they give bears numbers.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

The meat of the competition

FAT BEAR WEEK has once again arrived thanks TO super-stuffed and bouncy bruins in Alaska's Katmai National Park and Preserve. This fun event put on by NPS highlights its FAT favorites in Brooks River and includes brackets with a gaggle of curvy contenders. Like little meat on bones? Some of Katmai cuties definitely have jiggle in their jaunt as they're vying FOR crown of Fattest BEAR. Voting takes place on KNPP's Facebook page. Park officials say the competition, now in its fifth year, pits some well-know bears of Brooks River against one another FOR title. BEAR Cam viewers and fans of Katmais bears are ones who decide which BEAR looks fattest. The public is encouraged to VOTE on the Katmai National Park and Preserves Facebook page in head-TO-head matches each day beginning Oct. 2. The BEAR whose photo receives most like will advance TO next round, until one BEAR is crowned Fattest BEAR on FAT BEAR Tuesday, Oct. 8. Loveable lardos don't get trigger or scream about FAT shaming! During the voting period. FAT brown bears indicate hearty lifestyle and better chance of survival, Park officials say, along with evidence of ample forage TO support the population. During winter hibernation, which can last FOR up TO half of year in their den, BEAR could lose up TO one third of its body mass. In preparation for hibernation, bears are entering what is known as hyperphagia this time of year. Hyperphagia is a state in which they eat nearly non-stop TO pack on pounds before they begin hibernation. Thanks TO tremendous popularity of Katmai's explore. Org webcams, audience FOR FAT BEAR WEEK gets bigger every year. Since 2012, BEAR Cam viewers have had a front row seat TO lives of bears at Brooks Falls. Live streams allow millions of people around the world TO gain virtual access to this remote park and its abundant wildlife. Katmai National Park and Preserve hosts one of largest concentrations of brown bears in the world. It is Katmais tremendous runs of sockeye salmon that keep these bears coming back. Top contenders this year include BEAR 747, whose name and heft conjure up images of jumbo jets. He faces strong competition from BEAR 435 Holly and BEAR 128 Grazer, two females that have been very successful in packing on pounds and might even bring new litter of cubs into their dens this winter. 2018s reigning Queen, BEAR 409 Beadnose, has declined TO compete this year. So it anybodys game in 2019. Who will you VOTE FOR this year?

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

The bear maximum

River, River in fall, whos fattest Bear of all? After a week of fierce competition, southwest Alaskas Katmai National Park and Preserve named Holly as the fifth annual Fat Bear Week Champion. From Oct. 2 to 8, Park ask social media followers to vote on which husky hibernator is the fattest Bear of Brooks River. The public voted via Katmais Facebook page and 435, also know as Holly, emerged as this year's winner. She is fat. She is fabulous, Park said in its Facebook post. All hail Holly, whose healthy heft will help her hibernate until spring. Long live Queen of Corpulence! Katmai National Park hosts one of largest concentrations of brown bears in the world, according to the parks website. Bulking up is a necessary for bears to prepare themselves for hibernation, so the fattest bear is actually considered healthiest as it means a stronger chance of survival during winter. Hibernation can last half a year, and bear can lose up to one-third of its body mass, parks websites say. Before their winter slumber, Bears enter a state where they eat nearly nonstop, event called hyperphagia. Bear stocks up on sockeye salmon, which contains about 4 500 calories per fish, to make weight before hibernating. They can eat upward of two dozen fish per day during peak season.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Bearing good news

And it is not just about bears. Fat bears are also a sign of a healthy and robust ecosystem, too, since theyve spend summer and fall gorging themselves on food-particularly salmon that they fish out during their migration and spawning period. It is testament to the sustainability of salmon run currently in Bristol Bay, which is the largest salmon run leave in the world, Mr. Fitz say. And it has really been gangbusters over the last several years and it has been generally very healthy over the last several decades. So it gives people the opportunity to see the ecosystem functioning at its fully realized potential. Theres something comforting about fat bears, too, says Dr. Clayton. It suggests that nature is healthy, that nature is OK, we havent destroy it, she say. There is that really appealing kind of reassurance there, that, look, not only are there still Bear, theyre fat. Furthermore, webcams let people around the world observe bears in their natural habitats from their own living rooms, said Jeffrey Skibins, assistant professor at East Carolina University who specializes in human dimensions of wildlife conservation and conservation psychology. And that can cultivate a sense of connection with bears. It something that relatable, say Dr. Skibins. Especially as were coming into the holiday seasons, I think everybody could look at one of the fat bears and go, oh, gosh, I going to be that Fat Bear in a couple of months. Being able to watch these bears and identify individuals and connect with them, says Dr. Skibins, you really start to check all boxes of what make powerful nature encounter for anybody, whether its online or in person.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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