Fat Bear Week 2022 has arrived. In this annual Katmai National Park-sponsored competition, bears gearing up for a harsh Alaskan winter are pitted against each other in a “March Madness” style tournament to see which bear is this year’s fattest. Unbeknownst to them, these behemoth bears were photographed throughout the season, both before and after their salmon-sourced bulk. Now, the “titans of tub,” as one fan put it, are all competing for the top spot.

Fat Bear Week is a yearly occurrence that, according to Katmai National Park’s website, “is a celebration of success and survival.” Over the course of the week, those tuning in to the site and the live events hosted on explore.org have an opportunity to learn about the lives and histories of the brolic bears, as well as gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for the ecosystem of Katmai National Park.

This season’s competition is fierce, with fan favorites like 2019 champ 435 “Holly” and 4-time Fat Bear Week Winner 480 “Otis” (2014, 2016, 2017, 2021) back for more. 

The crowd has its eyes on some other contenders, though. 747, who has no other name, and frankly needs no other name due to his jumbo jet-like proportions, has been scouted out as this year’s gargantuan gunning for the top spot. He previously took home the dub in 2020. However, 856 and 901, both nameless and hungry for their first champion title, may give him a run for his money.

Only one question remains: who will be crowned this year’s Fat Bear?

You can meet the mass here: https://www.nps.gov/katm/learn/fat-bear-week-2022.htm and cast your own votes here: https://explore.org/fat-bear-week beginning October 5th from 8 am to 5 pm AKDT.