Oct 12, 2023
All hail Grazer! She's the bear mom at the top of the fat bear world!
With a stunning 108,321 votes, Grazer took the title at the end of a thrilling competition in Katmai National Park’s annual Fat Bear Week event. She earned 85,187 more votes than the second-place finisher, Chunk. The hefty mama bear sailed through the rounds like a ten-decked cruise ship. She left some past winners in her wake.
"The gutsy girl grounded the guy with a gut," Katmai National Park, located in Alaska, posted on Facebook. "The Mondo mountain of a male, 32 Chunk, proved his prominent posterior was worthy of a whopping win (Chin up, Chunk). But in the end, Chunk got Grazered."
Grazer is called “the bear with the biggest badonkadonk” by Katmai officials. She is known for being a fierce protector of her cubs. And she seems to be just as fierce when hunting salmon! She packed on enough fish-fueled pounds to wow voters and claim the fat bear crown. Park rangers don’t dare get close enough to a bear to weigh it. As a result, the competition is subjective. Still, Grazer’s change from skinny huntress to hefty hibernator was enough to tilt the scales in her favor.
"Let's crown our Queen that's thicker than a bowl of oatmeal, 128 Grazer," Katmai announced. "Long live the Queen!"
Voting in this year’s event broke records, with more than a million cast before Tuesday’s final. Katmai officials note that Grazer and the rest of the sloth (the collective noun for bears) don’t get any prizes for their win. But Fat Bear Week rewards them by raising awareness and encouraging protection of the bears’ habitat.
Great work, Grazer!
Photo from X courtesy @KatmaiNPS.
Reflect: What role might annual events like Fat Bear Week play in promoting conservation efforts for wildlife and their habitats?
Polar Bear Tracker
This interactive resource allows students to track polar bears in Hudson Bay as they hunt on the winter ice and are sent back to land by melting summer ice.
"Asthma Alley": Why Minorities Bear Burden of Pollution Inequity Caused by White People
This article describes environmental racism in the Bronx, including details about high levels of air pollution and high rates of asthma.
How Decades of Stopping Forest Fires Made Them Worse
This video provides a historical overview of how we think about (and react to) forest fires, including previous suppression techniques, the mantra of Smokey the Bear, and Indigenous practices that can help correct the decades of fire suppression activities.