The moment has arrived. Fat Bear Week 2023 has come to a close, and we have our winner. Feast your eyes on Grazer.
Bear 128 Grazer, to give her her full title, has officially been voted best fat bear of the year, beating majestic male 32 Chunk in what can only be described as a landslide, with 108,321 votes to 23,134.
Grazer is a feisty queen who takes no prisoners when it comes to protecting her cubs. Her defensive prowess has gained her quite the reputation among keen observers of Katmai National Park and Preserve’s bears in recent years.
She protec, she attac, but most importantly, she snac – on loads of salmon. Grazer has been described as “one of the best anglers at Brooks River”, a skill that will stand you in good stead if you’re a bear trying to reach peak rotundity before the long winter hibernation.
Diligent day and night fishing, and a fearsome streak that keeps the competition away – that’s a recipe for victory.
Commiserations are also due to Chunk, a fan favorite from previous years. Whilst his “low hanging belly and ample hindquarters” undoubtedly made him a worthy contender, in the eyes of voters he simply couldn’t match up to Grazer’s round resplendence.
So the highlight of the animal calendar is over for another year, and thankfully we managed to shake off the scandal-ridden legacy of the 2022 season. We’re already looking forward to whatever 2024 will have in store; but for now, Grazer, we hope you enjoy that well-deserved crown. And lots of lovely salmon.