The other 2020 election: Fat Bear Week is back

Posted at 5:40 AM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 06:02:02-04

Many beloved events and activities have been canceled this year, but one has weathered the pandemic. Fat Bear Week is here and we're ready to vote for the chunkiest one of them all.

What is it exactly?
The annual competition, held by the Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska, crowns the winner the fattest bear of the state's Brooks River, with the help of online voters like you.

Alaska's brown bears are the largest brown bears and eat up to 90 pounds of food each day, including other smaller mammals, salmon, berries, flowers and herbs.

Starting Sept. 30, the area's chunkiest bears will compete in head-to-head matches running through October 6. The winner of each round will move to the next round until the finalists compete for the crown of "2019 Fattest Bear."

You can vote here.

And don't worry, you won't hurt anyone's feelings with your vote.

"There is no shame in winning this contest as large amounts of body fat in brown bears is indicative of good health and strong chances of survival," the National Park Service said in a press release.

"During winter hibernation, which can last for up to half of the year in their den, a bear could lose up to one third of its body mass. In preparation, the bears are entering hyperphagia this time of year, a state in which they eat nearly non-stop."

The park, famous for its volcanoes, magical wilderness and brown bears, kicked off the competition six years ago.

It holds one of the largest concentration of brown bears in the world, according to the release.

They're all so glorious. How do I choose?

With so many choices, we know it's hard picking just one bear to crown.

So you can be one of the hundreds of viewers on one of the park's bear web cams, to spy on the bears and start making up your mind.