I loved this when I saw it on Twitter. This last week has been Fat Bear Week. Bears at Katmai National Park & Preserve in Southern Alaska are being voted on in a simple knock out competition to see who is the fattest amongst them. This is the time of year that bears in the wild are consuming as many calories as possible before they hibernate for the long, harsh winter.
Katmai is about 290 air miles from Anchorage and is inaccessible by road. It is exclusively accessed by air or water. There are companies that organise packages that include transportation to King Salmon which is where the park has it’s headquarters. There is even a scheduled commercial service from Anchorage to King Salmon (AKN). The most popular destination to see the Bears from is Brooks Camp. This is also reachable by power boat from King Salmon.
There are approximately 2,200 brown bears that inhabit Katmai National Park which more than the human population of the peninsula that the park occupies. There are webcams to check in with as well as viewing calendars that show the best places for viewing bears from and at what time of year. It is as if being a brown bear is an tourist industry in it’s own right.
Fat Bear Week was first introduced in 2014 and there is even an online store to purchase t-shirts and calendars with this years winning bear on. Webcams follow the bears in their quest to fatten up before the weather closes in on them.
For more about Katmai National Park & Preserve Click here
Here are the contenders for 2020….I won’t reveal the winner
Just how entertaining is it to watch the bears fattening up with the abundance of salmon swimming upstream to spawn at this time of year? As things stand I doubt I will get to see them in real life anytime soon but I can always hope.