Thursday, October 10, 2019

And the Champ Is....

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Behavior
Nature
Water & Watersheds
Edward Hessler

For the past five years the rangers at Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska have held a fat bear contest to choose the bear thought by viewers best prepared to go into winter hibernation. This is the one laying on the most layers of fat...the best sockeye salmon fisher.

The 2019 winner is #435, aka Holly. And here she is and the announcement: "Holly sat on.... Errr, smashed....Uhm...Soundly defeated all other competitors by rallying tens of thousands of fans to campaign and vote for her! Way to go Holly."

#435 was chosen by viewers in a September-madness bracket in which 12 bears were pitted against one another until the final bear emerged. And did Holly emerge! Some 17500 votes to Lefty's 3600.

Of course we want to know what Holly looked like before and NPR's Tom Goldman's report on the competition includes a side-by-side of her before and now. Goldman also discusses this year's delay in the salmon run. As you know this was a dry year in Alaska and the salmon run was late. Bears, including Holly, are still fishing.

Here is the link to the Brooks Falls brown bear cams. It is a great site and viewer comments are definitely worth a scan. You will find that there are some very dedicated observers who know who is who. I'm not one but keep informed through them.

You can meet both Lefty, #775 and Holly,#435 in these short films by ranger Mike Fitz. And here are some quick facts about brown bears.

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