Meet 435 Holly, Queen of the Katmai Fat Bears

Meet 435 Holly, Queen of the Katmai Fat Bears”

Both Holly and another bear, 128 Grazer, are described as "two females that have been very successful in packing on the pounds". Holly went on to win the final round in Fat Bear Week 2019.

Move over, Shark Week, we're all about Fat Bear Week now. Holly, who did not have cubs this year to distract her, had an especially big finish to the season.

According to Vox, Katmai National Park has announced the victor of its annual "Fattest Bear" contest, thanks to thousands of human voters who weighed in on Facebook over the last week. Specifically, they help celebrate the bears as they pack on the pounds thanks to summer food, preparing for winter by eating everything they can to build up as much fat as possible before they hibernate, hence the title of Fat Bear Week. Will it be 775 Lefty or 435 Holly?

And in the end, it was no contest.

Once 12 hours of voting concluded, Holly generated roughly 17,000 votes, while Lefty only racked up about 3,000. "All hail Holly whose healthy heft will help her hibernate until the spring", the park announced on its official Facebook account, along with a photo of the fat brown bear bracket showing off the losers. "It was really hard to get pictures of her because she just doesn't get out of the water", she added.

Holly, who won in a field of 12 contenders, has been single-minded this year in her pursuit of salmon at Brooks Falls, the park´s best-known bear-gathering spot. The Alaskan waterway has one of the largest concentrations of sockeye salmon in the world, and the bears there take full advantage.

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She most certainly is queen of the chonk and we shall celebrate her until next year's competition.

Holly earned her place, too, according to Katmai Conservancy Media Ranger Naomi Boak.

"So they eat any and everything", Boak said. "Bears are generally selfish creatures who are not known for displays of altruism", it says in her bio. Normally they're there, gorging on salmon around the first of the month.

Bears typically lose a third of their body weight during their winter sleep, so the body fat they accumulate in summer and fall is crucial to survival.

What is Fat Bear Week?

Even before this year´s Fat Bear Week, Holly was well-known to fans of Alaska wildlife.

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