You can still vote for Alaska’s fattest bear in Fat Bear Week 2022

Mark Thiessen/AP

Fat Bear Week 2022 is well under way, with more than 700,000 votes counted daily for the largest brown bears at the Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska.

People submit photographs of bears fattening up for the winter and then the public can vote on them in a March Madness-style competition.

Experts say bears can gain a few hundred pounds in fat before they retire to their winter dens. They mostly feast on salmon in the Brooks River.

“It’s just amazing when you see how much size they add,” said Charles Annenberg, founder of, which hosts the competition.

The bears’ survival depends on fattening up.

During hibernation, the bears can reportedly lose one-third of their body weight as they do not eat or drink.

According to The Washington Post, scientists are studying how a bear’s body changes during hibernation to learn whether those same processes could one day help how a human’s body functions.

Voting for Fat Bear Week is open every day from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Pacific and ends Oct. 11.

By Scripps National

Animals, News, Wild Animals
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