Welcome to Fat Bear Week!
Choose the fattest bear of the year! This is a single elimination tournament. For each match-up, vote for the bear you believe best exemplifies fatness. The bear with the most votes advances to the next round. Only one will be crowned champion of Fat Bear Week.
Fat Bear Celebration and Fundraiser
October 15 – 4 p.m. Eastern / 1 p.m. Pacific
With another Fat Bear Week in the history books and one of the United States’ largest national parks filled with fat, successful bears, it’s time to celebrate the summer that was and look toward the future of Katmai National Park and Preserve. Join explore.org’s resident naturalist Mike Fitz and Katmai Conservancy’s Naomi Boak for this celebration of Katmai National Park, its famous brown bears, remarkable salmon, and the Katmai’s Conservancy’s efforts to support the park. Watch on explore.org’s Brooks Live Chat channel.
Got Questions? Did you see something on the bear cams you’re curious about? Or, would you like to submit a question in advance for our live events? Ask it here. Rangers and expert staff may answer your question in a live chat, in the bear cam comments, or in a blog post.
Fat Bear Tuesday
October 11 – 7 p.m. Eastern / 4 p.m. Pacific
Only two bears remain standing in Fat Bear Week, the fattest tournament on Earth. You choose the winner on Fat Bear Tuesday. Explore the lives of the two final contestants and the importance of fat to brown bears with explore.org’s resident naturalist Mike Fitz and Katmai National Park rangers. Watch on explore.org’s Brooks Live Chat channel.
Which brown bear best transcends the ordinarily large and enters the realm of extraordinarily fat? Your vote decides in Fat Bear Week 2022. As Brooks River’s world-famous bears make their final preparations for winter hibernation, the Katmai Conservancy, explore.org, and rangers at Katmai National Park and Preserve celebrate their success. Fat Bear Week is an annual, single-elimination tournament. From October 5 – 11, the public votes online for the bear that they think best exemplifies fatness in brown bears. The bear with the most votes advances. Only one is crowned Fat Bear Week champion.
After a record number of sockeye salmon returned to Bristol Bay this summer, Fat Bear Week 2022 might be the biggest ever. Through the explore.org bear cams, people from all over the world witnessed crowds of bears eagerly taking advantage of the bounty of returning salmon at Brooks Falls. From extra large female bears like 435 Holly and 128 Grazer to huge adult males like 747 and 151 Walker, the enormous brown bears of Brooks River have been packing on the pounds and are ready for the big competition! Can 480 Otis win his fifth Fat Bear Week title, or will another bear steal the crown? Bears 747 and 32 Chunk are giants, but do they have what it takes to hibernate with the title of 2022 Fat Bear Week champion?
“With each passing year, I find myself more in love with the brown bears,” says explore.org founder Charlie Annenberg Weingarten. “From 747 to the beloved Otis and the relationship between sisters 909 and 910 and their cubs, the magic of the bears never ceases to amaze. It is a privilege to be a steward for Katmai National Park and work alongside the Katmai Conservancy and park rangers. Fat Bear Week is for the fans! It is a party that celebrates the March Madness of Nature!”
Inform your vote by comparing early and late summer photos of the bears. Meet the bears and consider each bear’s life history and the unique challenges it faces in order to survive. Campaign for your Fat Bear Week candidate by using #FatBearWeek on social media. Whet your appetite for Fat Bear Week with Fat Bear Junior on September 29 and 30. Your vote in Fat Bear Junior decides which cub joins the Fat Bear Week tournament.
There’s no fat shaming in Fat Bear Week. Fat bears exemplify the richness of Katmai National Park and Bristol Bay, Alaska – a wild region that is home to more brown bears than people and the largest, healthiest runs of sockeye salmon left on the planet. Learn more at fatbearweek.org and watch live, streaming footage of the bears at Brooks River every day on explore.org.
Be sure to join us on October 15 at 4 p.m. Eastern / 12:00 p.m. Alaska for the Katmai Conservancy’s annual online Fat Bear Week Celebration Fundraiser! We’ll celebrate the 10th anniversary of the bear cams and the 2022 bear cam season, highlight the Fat Bear Week champion, and learn more about the Katmai Conservancy’s important work in support of Katmai National Park and Preserve.
Watch the event on explore.org’s Brooks Live Events channel.
Fat Bear Week in the News
USA Today – Fat Bear Week Appears to Have Early Frontrunner
9/23: Alaska Sporting Journal – Fat Bear Week
9/23: Outsider – Get Ready, Fat Bear Week 2022 is Coming
9/24: National Parks Traveler – Katmai’s Fat Bear Week 2022
9/24: Anchorage Press – Celebrate Fat Bear Week 2022
9/26: Washington Post – Fat Bear Week
9/27: Backpacker Magazine – Fat Bear Week is Here
9/27: Interior Newswire – Fat Bear Week 2022
9/29: Anchorage Daily News – Spotlight on Chubby Cubbies
9/29: Geo Week News – Supporting Fat Bear Week with Laser Scanning
9/30: Wall Street Journal – Thousands Tune In To Watch Otis
10/3: Washington Post – What is Fat Bear Week?
10/3: Out There Colorado – Fat Bear Week Competition Returns
10/3: USA Today – Fat Bear Week 2022
10/3: Washington Post – Fat Bear Week 2022 Bracket
10/5: Smithsonian Magazine – What is Fat Bear Week?
10/6: Today Show – Fat Bear Week 2022