The results are in, and one corpulent sow has been named the winner of Katmai National Park and Preserve’s Fat Bear Week. 4-3-5 Holly clinched victory on Tuesday with more than 15,000 votes over her fellow finalist, a boar named 7-7-5 Lefty.
“We’re so excited about the winner,” said Katmai Conservancy Media Ranger Naomi Boak. “Holly is an awesome bear. She’s the Michelin Man of Brooks River bears.”
She says Holly was a fan favorite from the beginning, though she was by no means the largest. 3-D imaging showed some to be well over 1,000 lbs and one, Bear 747, about twice Holly’s size. But Boak says despite her relatively small frame, she earned her title this year.
“You see her in person and she’s a small bear. So she is so fat,” Boak said. “I think she may be more like seven or 800 pounds. But she did a job. She worked hard for that figure.”
Boak says this fifth annual celebration of Katmai’s brown bears was a record breaker in terms of voter participation, with almost 200,000 votes over last year’s 56,000. She says engaging so many people around the world helps to bring larger environmental issues, like clean water and healthy fisheries to the forefront.
“To really bring attention to the the unique ecological resources that we have at the Brooks River in Katmai and how precious it is,” she said. “It’s something we we want to let people know about. We want people to feel that they too can be conservators of the park that enables us to have these incredibly wonderful, healthy bears.”
Boak says they’re wrapping up ranger activities at Katmai for the winter, but bear fans can find still find their favorites from this summer’s “bear cams” on Explore.org.