After an eventful week filled with surprises and twists, online voters have crowned 128 “grazers” as the champions of Fat Bear Week. This year’s winner, known as Grazer, emerged victorious after defeating Chunk in the final round by a staggering 85,000 votes.
Grazer is the third female bear, or Bo, to claim the title, joining previous winners Holly in 2019 and Beadnose in 2018 (who is believed to be deceased). According to Naomi Bock, media ranger at Katmai National Park and Preserve, “The girls did really well this year. It was a year of sowing.”
Grazer quickly gained a reputation as a fearless mother and skilled angler, often challenging other top bears in the Brooks River to protect her family. Her behavior even led fans to turn her name into a verb, with “grazering” becoming a popular term. Not only is Grazer adored, but her offspring, known as “gragerettes,” have also become celebrities within the Explore.org live cam-watching community.
Despite being smaller than Chunk, Grazer’s bravery and story resonated with voters, ultimately leading to her victory. Bock praised her as a “brave bear” and believes that “girl power” played a significant role in her triumph.
Fat Bear Week saw several surprising outcomes. One notable upset was the elimination of four-time champion Otis on Friday. Despite his incredible size and strength, last year’s runner-up, New Mom 901, surpassed him in votes. Otis’ defeat saddened many fans, but it showcased the emotional connection people have with these bears.
Another unexpected turn of events occurred on Saturday when reigning champion 747 suffered a significant loss to Grazer. Bock attributed the defeat to the fact that 747 already appeared big in his “before” photo, making his transformation less compelling compared to other bears.
In the end, three formidable female bears, 901, Holly, and Grazer, along with Chunk, made it to the semi-finals. Grazer and Chunk won their spots in the championship round with convincing victories.
Although Chunk had the advantage of size, with some even claiming he may be larger than 747, Grazer dominated the voting on Fat Bear Tuesday. She maintained a strong lead throughout the day and emerged as the deserving winner.
Grazer’s win is a testament to her resilience and determination. She was often spotted fishing in the dark alongside fellow Fat Bear Week contender Otis, utilizing her instincts and skills to find success during challenging times.
While Grazer couldn’t be reached for comment, her victory speaks volumes about her ability to survive hibernation. The extra fat stores she accumulated during Fat Bear Week will help sustain her throughout the winter when food is scarce.
The 2023 Fat Bear Week attracted over a million votes, surpassing last year’s record. Despite the implementation of new cybersecurity measures to prevent voter fraud, the competition remained fair and transparent. And while Grazer and her fellow bears receive no actual rewards or recognition, their victory signifies their readiness for the upcoming hibernation period.
1. What is Fat Bear Week?
Fat Bear Week is an annual competition held at Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska. It allows online voters to choose the fattest bear to prepare for hibernation.
2. Who won Fat Bear Week 2023?
The winner of Fat Bear Week 2023 is bear 128, also known as Grazer.
3. How many votes were cast in Fat Bear Week 2023?
Over a million votes were counted in this year’s competition, breaking last year’s record.
4. Do the bears receive any rewards for winning Fat Bear Week?
No, the bears do not receive any rewards or recognition. The purpose of Fat Bear Week is to raise awareness about the importance of bears accumulating enough body fat to survive hibernation.
5. How does winning Fat Bear Week benefit the bears?
Winning Fat Bear Week indicates that a bear is in good shape to endure the hibernation period. The extra fat stores they have accumulated will help fuel them during the winter when food is scarce.
Overall, Fat Bear Week 2023 proved to be a thrilling competition, with Grazer emerging as the deserving champion. Her victory not only showcases her strength and resilience but also highlights the significance of protecting these incredible animals and their habitats.