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Meet The Winner Of This Year's Fattest Bear Contest


In Alaska, one of the biggest elections of the year just finished.


It's an election about being big. At the Katmai National Park and Preserve, voters online have chosen this year's fattest bear.

MIKE FITZ: Bears get fat to survive. After a summer-long effort of feeding on salmon, berries and other foods, brown bears at Brooks River in Katmai National Park have reached peak fat.

INSKEEP: Analysis there from Mike Fitz, resident naturalist with explore.org.

KING: He's been hosting videos for the park's annual Fat Bear Week, which takes place just before these chubsters (ph) go into hibernation.

FITZ: In the tournament of champions that is Fat Bear Week, the merely pudgy bears have been winnowed away. And only the truly fattest are left standing.

INSKEEP: I'm just still recovering from Noel saying chubsters, but let's move on. Voting opened online last week. And Katmai's media ranger Naomi Boak read the list of 12 challengers in a March Madness-style bracket.

NAOMI BOAK: Bear 32, Chunk, versus Bear 435, Holly. So it's an independent, big male versus a young mama. Then...

KING: On Tuesday, it was down to two brown bears, Bear 32, Chunk, versus Bear 747. The votes were tallied up. And the winner is...


INSKEEP: The 1,400-pounder, Bear 747. To the runner-up, Chunk, a word of advice from Fitz.

FITZ: The road to fat bear greatness is paved with salmon.

(SOUNDBITE OF SABZI'S "SPECTACULAR") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.