Since 2014, Katmai National Park in southern Alaska has been running Fat Bear Week, when the park’s brown bears 'compete' to see which of them has gained the most weight throughout the summer, in preparation for hibernation.
The tournament vote is all in fun, but helps bring a lot of attention to the habitat and lifestyles of these bears, stoking conservation and awareness. The first Fat Bear competition gathered just under 2000 votes - last year nearly 800,000 ballots were cast, with bear #480, Otis, being named the fattest of them all.
To participate, head over to Katmai NP's site for the before and after photos and to learn more aboutthe 32 bears in the running this year. Then head over here each day at 12pm ET for the next week to register your vote. The winner will be announced next week.
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