Brown bear in the Brooks River, Katmai National Park, Alaska
© littleting/Pradthana Jarusriboonchai/Getty Image
In the belly of Fat Bear Week
In Alaska’s Katmai National Park, the ‘fattening’ is under way. Brown bears like our homepage friend are bulking up for the long winter, gathering at Brooks Falls to feast on migrating salmon. The base of the falls makes for a prime fishing spot, as it creates a temporary barrier to salmon migrating upstream. This makes the fish relatively easy pickings for hungry bears, who can catch up to 30 salmon a day.
This annual feast attracts hundreds of onlookers to the park and many more online, where viewers can see the spectacle via live feeds. During Fat Bear Week, the public is invited to vote for the bears that appear to pack on the most pounds. Keep an eye out for last year’s winner—a bear named Holly described as ‘the shape and colour of a toasted marshmallow.’