The newly crowned "Queen" won this year's "Fat Bear" competition in Alaska with her colossal curves. Brown bear Grazer (with the code number 128) prevailed in the competition for the fattest furry animal in Katmai National Park against the impressive male 32 Chunk ("Klotz" in German).
The “greedy girl” outplayed the “guy with the guts,” the park administration in the northernmost US state wrote on Instagram. "Long live the Queen!" She received significantly more votes (over 108,000) than her rival with around 23,000 votes.
Grazer is great when it comes to eating salmon
Twelve brown bears competed for the strange title in the national park for a week. After six rounds of voting, only these two competitors faced each other in the final on Tuesday.
Nearly 1.4 million votes were received from around the world - a record number, the rangers said. Online, bear fans were able to watch the candidates catching salmon on webcams, view before and after photos and vote for their favorites. In spring the bears are still thin, but they have to build up fat reserves until autumn in order to survive the months of hibernation without food. They can lose a third of their body weight.
Grazer was particularly successful at eating salmon. Rangers praised her as a skilled angler. Her body size was estimated at a good 320 kilograms. Chunk is said to weigh around 550 kilos with his massive rear end. But it's not just the estimated final weight that makes the difference; other factors, such as eating behavior and temperament, also weigh heavily. Bear fans pitched in with comments for their favorites. "Chunk's stomach hangs lower than his knees," one user joked. "I love you Grazer and all the bears who weren't fat enough to win," another fan wrote on the park's website.
Over 2000 brown bears in the region
Last year the mighty bear 747, nicknamed the Jumbo Jet, had the most fans. But this time he was kicked out during the "Fat Bear" week, and young bear 806 Spring Cub, nicknamed Chubby Prince, old Otis and voluptuous Holly also fell by the wayside.
Katmai Park hosted “Fat Bear Week” for the ninth time. The competition is intended to provide information about the ecosystem and habitat of the over 2,000 brown bears in the region and to point out dangers to the animals. The Brooks River waterfalls are a high-calorie buffet where the furry giants catch salmon from June to October. Rangers say it would be a catastrophe if salmon schools were to decline as a result of climate change.
According to the park rangers, Chunk and Grazer go into the winter with good fat reserves. Female Grazer had no offspring this year and was therefore able to use all her energy to grow her own fat. From the rangers' point of view, the 18-year-old Chunk, with a noticeable scar on his snout, is one of the most dominant bears in the area. There is no winning prize, such as a portion of salmon. A good winter rest is the reward.