KING SALMON, Ala. - This week is the annual Fat Bear Week, and the polls have opened Wednesday for the public to vote which bear is the fattest of 2021.
Fat Bear Week is a one-by-one elimination competition, and voters decide which bear they think is the fattest. The bear that receives the most votes moves on to the next round, and one bear will be crowned the 2021 Fat Bear Week winner.
Voting opens Wednesday, Sept. 29 and ends Tuesday, Oct. 5, and matchups are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. MT.
The National Park Service said in a Facebook post, "The bulbous bears of Katmai National Park & Preserve's Brooks River have prepared all summer for the long winter by packing on the pounds necessary for survival. As the fall comes and goes in Alaska, brown bears have been going through a process called hyperphagia—an overwhelming urge to eat as much as possible to prepare for winter."