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Meet 2023’s fatest bear

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Mama Bear 128 Grazer has been crowned the champion of Fat Bear Week 2023, marking her as the world’s fattest bear for the year.

Fat Bear Week is an annual competition held among bears living in Alaska’s Katmai National Park in the United States.

The goal is to determine which Alaskan brown bear has gained the most weight ahead of winter, as this extra weight is crucial for their survival during hibernation. She faced tough competition from male bear 32 Chunk in the final round, but ultimately won with over four times the number of votes.

Hibernation is a state where animals, including bears, enter a sleep-like state in cozy dens to survive the cold winter months without needing to hunt for food or move to warmer areas. During hibernation, they don’t eat or drink and lower their metabolism to conserve energy.

Bears need to accumulate a significant amount of body fat before hibernation because they can lose up to a third of their body weight during this period. The fatter they are before hibernation, the better they can endure the harsh winter conditions.

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