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“Fat Bear Week: America’s Most Body Positive Contest Nears Climax”

“Big is beautiful in the public vote for the brown bear piling on the most pounds before hibernation in Alaska’s Katmai national park”

“Deep into a tumultuous and often harrowing year, it will be a relief to many that America has now finally arrived at a cherished annual highlight: fat bear week.

Voting has begun in – perhaps – this year’s most eagerly anticipated election, where members of the public pick their favorite of the fattened bears now waddling around the Brooks river in Katmai national park, in southern Alaska.

Only one bear will emerge victorious in the knockout elimination contest, which pits 12 plump ursine contenders against each other. Katmai national park calls the contest a “March Madness-style competition”, with the crucial difference that it involves gazing at pictures of podgy bears in the tundra and forests of Alaska rather than cheering on college basketball-playing humans.”

Oliver Milman reports for the Guardian October 1, 2020.