Celebrating How Brown Bears Fatten Up for Hibernation

Wired spoke with Park ranger Felicia Jimenez and biologist Dr. Michael Saxon to learn more about how bears fatten up for months of hibernation and how this weight gain is celebrated with “Fat Bear Week”.

Every year something switches in the brains of these coastal brown bears. Before they hibernate, they lose their ability to feel full and pack on hundreds of pounds. In fact, it’s become an annual competition to celebrate these fat bears.

The competition asks people to vote for the bears they feel are the fattest of them all.

Fat Bear Week – an annual celebration of success. All bears are winners but only one true champion will emerge. Held over the course of seven days and concluding on the Fat Bear Tuesday, people chose which bear to crown in this tournament style bracket where bears are pitted against each other for your vote.


Fat Bear Week 2023 Blank Bracket

Bears Lineup at the Falls

32 Chunk (Fat)