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Alaska’s ‘Fat Bear Week’ underway to crown pudgiest bear ahead of winter hibernation

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The bigger the bear, the better! Katmai National Park has kicked off its annual Fat Bear Week from Oct. 5 to 11, 2022, in which some of Alaska’s biggest bears are ranked ahead of winter hibernation.

The week celebrates the resilience, adaptability and strength of Katmai’s brown bear population as the animals prepare to hibernate, according to the National Park Service (NPS).

The single elimination tournament has matched up 12 bears to compete for the title of fattest bear. Voters can participate and make their bracket picks at, as well as learn more about each bear and its importance to the Alaskan ecosystem.

A Fat Bear Week winner will be announced on "Fat Bear Tuesday," Oct. 11, 2022. Some of the world’s largest brown bears settle down at Brooks River in Katmai National Park, according to

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