New York Daily News: MANHATTAN, NY – This thick bear’s in rare air.
A bear named 747 with a lush coat of brown fur and a fabulous fish-filled belly was crowned the winner of Fat Bear Week on Tuesday as hibernation season approaches at Alaska’s Katmai National Park.
The whimsical competition at the preserve in southern Alaska celebrates the progress of brown bears as they transform for the winter months.
Voters select the plumpest bear through a March Madness-style bracket. On his path to the title, 747 topped hefty bears 812, 151 Walker and, in the final, Chunk.
A resident of the Brooks River, 747 beat out 11 other bears for the championship. The skilled fisher was estimated to weigh more than 1,400 pounds before hibernation season a year ago.
“This year he really packed on the pounds, looking like he was fat enough to hibernate in July and yet continuing to eat until his belly seemed to drag along the ground by late September,” Katmai National Park said in a statement. “When asked what he intends to do now that he has won, the only response was a look before going back to fishing.”