It’s the most wonderful week of the year. Isn’t that how the song goes? Fat Bear week, in which online voyeurs vote on the fattest brown bear lumbering and lolling around Brooks River in Katmai National Park, Alaska.

2019 champ, Bear 435 (Holly) is back to defend her crown. Longtime fat bear 480 (Otis) is still here, at over 24 years old. In all, there are 12 bears competing for the title. Well, their competing for calories, really, unaware of their internet fame. You can vote, here.

Here is a brief introduction:


Explore.org is full of wonderful wildlife cams, but the Brooks River bears is really something special. All week long, at our various Team AJ outposts, we typically have the cam open on a window somewhere. Things get a little stressful, we turn our attention briefly to the bear cams, watch those lumbering beauties snatch salmon out of the river, or just take a load off with a dip, always looking so serene. And so, so fat.

Below is a bracket of this year’s matchup. And at the bottom the live cam. May as well do as we do, and leave that open somewhere, you never know when you’ll need a little fat bear time.

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