SALT LAKE CITY ― If politics are “weighing” you down, this story may be exactly what you need.
Katmai National Park put on its fourth annual “Fat Bear Week” competition last week and, judging from the reactions of people on social media, the event did not disappoint.
The park, which is located in Alaska and is about the size of Yosemite and Yellowstone combined, first announced the competition in an Oct. 1 press release, saying that the "annual march madness-style competition, now in its fourth year, pits commonly seen bears on the Bear Cam against one another to decide which bear indeed, looks the fattest."
Then, the event encourages the public to vote on the Katmai National Park and Preserve’s Facebook page in head-to-head matches.
The bear receiving the most likes advanced to the next round, with the "Fat Bear Week" champion crowned on Oct. 9.
The winner of the week-long test of tubbiness was Bear 409, aka Beadnose.
Users on Twitter did not hesitate to get involved, tweeting out their reactions to GIFs and pictures of the bears that displayed their fabulous fat rolls and gluttonous weight gains.
So how did the bears get so fat? According to Buzzfeed, the Alaskan brown bears have been eating salmon nonstop since July in order to prepare for hibernation. Katmai spokesman Andrew Lavelle said that the bears ballooned from about 600 pounds to 1,100 in just four months.
Talk about bulking season.
“While it may be entertaining for us to watch, for the bears it's a game of survival,” Lavalle told Mashable. “They have to have enough fat stored up to last through up to six months of hibernation.”
During the winter, brown bears can lose up to one-third of their total body mass. If they don’t pack on the pounds, they might not make it to next spring.