EVERY year, bears prepare for the winter months by fattening up before hibernating.
The annual tradition has become so popular that Americans now celebrate it during Fat Bear Week, and many want to know what makes October 11, 2022 so special.
What is Fat Bear Tuesday?
In 2013, Mike Fitz founded Fat Bear Week in Katmai National Park, Alaska.
During the week, celebrated in October, the bears compete in a week-long tournament where they are judged on their “success in preparing for hibernation.”
The bears are eventually put into the bracket-style competition, and it’s then up to the people to decide which bear is the baddest.
Voting will end on October 11th and then the winner will be chosen.
In 2021, according to The New York Times, there were over 600,000 votes in the contest.
“I suddenly realized that people connect with these animals just as powerfully as they do with personal contact,” Fitz told the New York Times.
“People are learning more about brown bears and salmon this way, and hopefully it will lead to a greater sense of caring for this remarkable place and for bears and salmon around the world.”
How can I vote for the finalists?
After a week of competition, the competition has now shrunk to two bears.
Bears 747 and 901 will compete for America’s votes and a new winner will be crowned.
Voting begins October 11 at 12:00 PM EST and will run until 9:00 PM EST.
Americans can vote for the biggest bear here.
Why do bears hibernate?
Over the years meteorologists have determined that winter lasts three months and while the weather is often unpredictable during this time, animals are preparing for the worst.
Animals like bears eat as much as possible so they have a lower body temperature, slower breathing and heart rate, and a low metabolic rate that allows them to survive.
According to National Geographic, animals don’t “sleep” during this time, but instead enter a state in which their metabolism is depressed to less than five percent of normal.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6416129/what-fat-bear-tuesday/ What is Fat Bear Tuesday?