At this point it seems fair to say that, as years go, 2020 is pretty depressing. So depressing, in fact, that at times curling up with a good book and plenty of blankets and proceeding to sleep through the second and third marking periods can seem pretty appealing. Unfortunately humans cannot hibernate our problems away, but bears can! And lets be real, watching chubby bears prepare for hibernation is almost as welcome a distraction as being able to hibernate ourselves.
This was probably not one of the main reasons that the staff at Katmai National Park in Alaska chose to create national Fat Bear Week back in 2014, but nevertheless we can only be grateful that they did. The concept of Fat Bear Week is simple: as swarms of salmon arrive in the Brooks River, which runs through the park, dozens of rotund fuzzballs will arrive to put on the weight they need for the long, cold winter. Eager fans can watch the park live stream on YouTube and even vote for their favorite contenders. Which bears win is not related to how many fish they eat, instead the most adorable and funny are simply awarded for their general greatness as the internet sees fit.
This year’s Fat Bear Week will see such intimidating contenders as “Chunk” and “Otis” facing off to see who can put on more weight, and win the hearts of internet fans, between now and October 6th. As already mentioned there are no rules to the event, just a bunch of fat bears and naturalists with too much free time. It is, undoubtedly, ridiculous, but also undeniably fun and sure to provide an hour or two of zen entertainment over the next week.
Learn more about Fat Bear Week at https://explore.org/fat-bear-week