Well another Fat Bear Week competition has drawn to a close. After seven days of intense rivalry, a new champion has been selected. There was drama, upsets, and most importantly, well-fed bears. Starting on October 5th, the first round began and thus a subsequent six days of matchups were played out. Voted on by everyone at home, over 1,000,000 votes have been cast in this year’s competition. A new record for Fat Bear Week. Last year saw over 800,000 votes cast.
The first round started with a few interesting matchups, Bears 856 and 747 kicked things off. The sheer size of 747, nicknamed the Jumbo Jet, ended up being too much for 856. Veterans Walker and 901 easily surpassed the competition of 854 and Fat Bear Jr. Winner, 909’s Yearling. New to the game, 164 managed to squeak out a first round win by charming everyone with his unique fishing style. Nicknamed the Shower Bear, 164 invented a way to keep up with the more senior bears at Brooks River by sitting at the bottom of the waterfall and fishing there.
Into the next round, Fat Bear Week vets Holly and Chunk were thrown into the mix. Holly, a fan favorite for how she looks after her cubs, beat 164 by a landslide. 747 came up tops when face to face with 32 Chunk. Both large male bears, it made it hard for fans to choose between them, but there was something about 747 this year that caught the eye.
October 8th saw four time reigning champ, Otis, enter the fray. Known well by the fans of Fat Bear Week, Otis is very loved by all. Many were surprised to see him lose out to 901 in the semi final. Here to impress, 901 proved herself by beating out the top bear for the past few years, setting herself up for the semi-final matchup with 128 Grazer who had beaten 151 Walker to get to his place in the semis.
The first semi-final match up saw 747 Jumbo Jet face off with 435 Holly. This match-up was infused with drama as the vote counters exposed a collection of votes cast by bots. Swiftly taking care of the issue, 747 found himself on top again. 747’s huge size was too big a draw and saw him make his way all the way to the final. On the other side of the semis 128 Grazer faced off against 901, the bear who unseated Otis as the ultimate fat bear. 901’s win streak continued as she won by a count of 44,237 votes to Grazer’s 32,557 votes.
The final between 747 and 901 was an epic match up between the gigantic bears. Fans this year went for some of the biggest bears in the river. After a week of voting, upsets, and drama the final match was upon us. It ended up being very close between both bears but in the end 747 Jumbo Jet came out on top with 68,105 votes to 901’s 56,876 and another Fat Bear Week champion was crowned. Making it all the way from the first round, 747 earned his victory. This is 747’s second win as Fat Bear Champion. Congratulations to all the bears and we can’t wait to see them again next year.