Fat Bear Week 2022 has arrived. Meet this year’s contenders

Fat Bear Week is back!

In the annual competition organized by Katmai National Park in Alaska announced As this year’s contenders kick off the event, it was meant to celebrate brown bears as they pack on the pounds before winter hibernation.

The contest works using a bracket format that pits the bears against each other, giving online voters the opportunity to choose the Fat Bear Week 2022 winner over the course of several rounds.

“Fat Bear Week is a celebration of success and survival,” Katmai National Park wrote on its website. “It’s a way to celebrate the resilience, adaptability and strength of Katmai’s brown bear.”

Online voting will be open from October 5 to 11 from 8 am to 5 pm AKDT.

“During the week, virtual visitors learn more about the lives and histories of individual bears, while gaining a greater understanding of Katmai’s ecosystem,” Park said.

About 800,000 votes were cast in 2021 in the contest that began in 2014. It remains a way for the park to celebrate its “healthy ecosystem”.

According to Park, the survival of bears depends on eating a year’s worth of food in six months.

Former Katmai National Park Ranger Andrew LaValle told CBS News In 2018 that “a fat bear is a healthy bear, and that’s something to celebrate.”

Check out the full bracket featuring all 12 bears below:

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