Welcome To Bear Country!
This is Alaska’s incredible Katmai National Park, home to a lot of wild animals, including these very hungry bears!
It’s “Fat Bear Week 2022!”
I love this story…I just found out that there is a weeklong “LIVE” competition to see which bear gains the most weight before hibernation!
As The Guardian reports:
“Thousands of people are tuning in this week to watch Fat Bear Week, the popular competition to vote for the largest bear at the Katmai national park in Alaska. The annual tournament evaluates a bear’s “success in preparation for winter hibernation”, according to the tournament’s website.”
It’s an animal version of a “March Madness-style” tournament – and you can watch it live until next Tuesday October 11, when the winner will be announced.
Participants in the event, organized by the National Park Service and Explore.org, can vote for their favorite bear, whether skinny or large, through a bracket online.
I’d love to visit this park – as you can see 2,000 brown bears call it home.
As for the contest, here’s more from The Guardian:
“The 12 competing bears are identified by numbers, and some of the more prominent ones are known by their names. This year’s contestants include 435 Holly, a female bear first identified in 2001; Bear 335, one of the youngest in the competition; and 480 Otis, the winner of four Fat Bear Week titles.”
Meet Defending Champ Otis!
The competition has been ongoing for 8 years now, and has helped raise awareness of these magnificent beats and what they must do to survive winter there.
As The Guardian reported:
“Last year, the over 25-year-old Otis won after nearly 800,000 votes were cast, with 51,230 of those for Otis. Three years ago, Otis was estimated to weigh more than 900lb.”
The goal of this contest is to educate the public about how bears live in the wild, and what their survival is important to us as well! As The Guardian points out about just how much weight these Bears put on:
“From midsummer to fall, an average male adult bear can go from weighing 600-900lb to well over 1,000 pounds!”
Here is the entire article from The Guardian:
I posted a story last year about how the pandemic had led to an increase in the bear population:
That’s a great thing – as long as we all remember to respect them and stay far far away…here’s the story of the population boom in our forests:
Wildlife is all around us – sometimes where we least expect it, like when I happened upon a herd of elk in the middle of a small town:
Yes, I interrupted an Elk buffet!
Click here to see more of my wildlife encounter on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula!
And remember this video I shared from my house in Beverly Hills?
You know what they say: “the closer you are to the wild, the closer the wild is to you!”
Here’s more of that story:
I was in Malibu and had a fun Dolphin encounter as well:
It had me wondering:
How do they sleep?
Click here for what I discovered!
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