Absolute Chonker '435 Holly' Has Been Named America's Fattest Bear

Cheryl Sanders
October 10, 2019

To publicize the competition, park rangers created a March Madness-inspired bracket that listed all the heavyweight contenders, each with pictures that showed their girth and size.

Male bears can eat more than 70 stone worth of food, and female bears about two thirds of that, before they hibernate in dens in the mountains.

Holly and all of this year's 12 contestants are coastal brown bears, who forage along the Brooks river.

Fat Bear Week has been an annual event for the past five years in Katmai National Park and Preserve in southwestern Alaska. Holly was placed against No. 775, also known as "Lefty", and the results were shocking.

The "Queen of Corpulence" took the crown after 12 hours of voting that landed her with 17,500 votes.

"She is fat. She is fabulous", the park said in its Facebook post. It was really hard to get pictures of her because she just doesn´t get out of the water, ' Boak said.

Holly is deemed one of the "most recognizable" bears in the park, according to the National Park Service, with her distinctive blonde and light brown hair. That prize? As Katmai National Park puts it: "Stronger chances of living through the winter".

This was the fifth year of the competition, and we are guessing next year will have even more fans.

Along with the novelty and fun of the event, Boak and her fellow Katmai Conservancy media ranger Brooklyn White hope it builds awareness of a natural process and the need to conserve the unique wilderness area of the Brooks River.

White says many ecosystems, even within Katmai, are breaking down, caused by human encroachment to warming temperatures that are putting salmon under "heat duress". "T$3 hey stayed in small creeks and streams that were very dry".

But, obviously, whether you are a bear or a human being, your validity in this life is not determined by popular vote or by beauty contests, and we can not help but stan both of these big, chonky bears, and all of the other chonky bears who went head-to-head in this fierce contest. She has been a regular to millions of viewers who watch footage from the livestream "bear cam" at Brooks Falls that was set up and is operated by the site Explore.org.

How did they pick the Fat Bear Week victor?

Bears typically lose a third of their body weight during their winter sleep, so the body fat they accumulate in summer and fall is crucial to survival.

And for Holly, it'll mean emerging as a champion.

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