UNITED STATES NEWS

Don’t mess with this mama bear: Grazer easily wins popular Fat Bear Contest at Alaska national park

Oct 12, 2023, 9:52 AM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — When it comes to packing on the pounds to survive an Alaska winter, this year’s undisputed champ is Grazer.

Grazer, also known as Bear 128 to the fans of Fat Bear Week at Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve, won this year’s contest, handily defeating Chunk 108,321 to 23,134 in the finals.

The annual contest, which this year drew more than 1.3 million votes from dedicated fans watching the bears live at explore.org, is way to celebrate the resiliency of the brown bears that live on the preserve on the Alaska Peninsula, which extends from the state’s southwest corner toward the Aleutian Islands.

Viewers of Alaska’s most-watched popularity contest are glued to computer screens all summer long to see which bears are stocking up the most on salmon. They then vote in tournament style brackets over the course of a week, advancing bears to the next round until a champion is crowned. Grazer took the title Tuesday.

According to Grazer’s biography on the Katmai website, the large adult female is often one of the fattest bears to collect salmon on Brooks River inside Katmai. Park officials call her “one of the best anglers” in the park, fishing day or night from many different parts of the river, even chasing down fleeing salmon.

Grazer is one of an estimated 2,200 brown bears that call Katmai home.

A true mama bear, she’s known to attack larger bears, even adult males, to ensure her cubs are safe. She’s used her skills to successfully raise two litters of cubs.

This year’s contest was in peril just weeks ago. Had Congress not come to a last-minute deal to avoid a government shutdown at the end of September, Fat Bear Week would have been postponed since park employees would not have been allowed to count the votes.

United States News

President Joe Biden gestures after speaking to graduating students at the Morehouse College commenc...

Associated Press

Biden tells Morehouse graduates that scenes in Gaza from the Israel-Hamas war break his heart, too

Joe Biden on Sunday offered his most direct recognition of U.S. students' anguish over the Israel-Hamas war.

49 minutes ago

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi suffered a “hard landing” on Sunday, May ...

Associated Press

Helicopter carrying Iran’s hard-line president apparently crashes in foggy, mountainous region

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country's foreign minister apparently crashed in mountainous Iran on Sunday.

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Child is among 3 dead after Amtrak train hits a pickup truck in upstate New York

NEW YORK (AP) — A child was among the three victims killed when a passenger train hit a pickup truck, officials said. The northbound Amtrak train hit a Dodge truck Friday evening in North Tonawanda, New York, a small town along the Niagara River between Niagara Falls and Buffalo, police said. The victims included a […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

11 hurt in mass shooting that marked a weekend of gun violence in Savannah, Georgia

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — An argument between two women led to a gunfight that left 11 people hurt in a busy tourist area of Savannah, Georgia, late Saturday, one of five weekend shootings in the city, two of which were fatal, authorities said. Two people were injured in separate shootings Friday. Two more shootings Saturday […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Power restored to most affected by deadly Houston storm, with the rest by Wednesday

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston area residents affected by deadly storms last week received some good news as officials said power had been restored Sunday to a majority of the hundreds of thousands who had been left in the dark and without air conditioning amid hot and humid weather. The widespread destruction of Thursday’s storms left […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

America’s first Black astronaut candidate finally goes to space 60 years later on Bezos rocket

VAN HORN, Texas (AP) — America’s first Black astronaut candidate finally rocketed into space 60 years later, flying with Jeff Bezos’ rocket company on Sunday. Ed Dwight was an Air Force pilot when President John F. Kennedy championed him as a candidate for NASA’s early astronaut corps. But he wasn’t picked for the 1963 class. […]

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Don’t mess with this mama bear: Grazer easily wins popular Fat Bear Contest at Alaska national park