Fat Bear Week Winner Crowned: 747, Jumbo Jet of Brown Bears, Is 2022’s Champion of Chonk

by Jon D. B.
Fat Bear Week 2022 winner. (Photo credit: Explore.org press center)

The biggest Fat Bear Week in history has concluded with over 1 million votes and a fabulous Fat Bear Tuesday celebrating this year’s champion, 747!

What a wild ride. Precocious cubs entered the ring. Old favorites Holly and Otis got ousted mid-tourney. Enormous newcomer 901 came close to victory. But in the end, Fat Bear Week is about the fattest bear, period. And in 2022 this title unquestionably belongs to the jumbo jet of brown bears, 747. This is 747’s second win after taking the crown in 2020.

“The 2022 Fat Bear Week competition was the biggest ever with more than one million votes. Congratulations to bear 747, your 2022 Fat Bear Champ. He is a quintessential example of success in the bear world,” announced FBW’s resident naturalist Mike Fitz Tuesday Morning.

It was indeed the biggest voter turnout for a FBW tourney so far. Nearly 125,000 people voted in October 11’s final round, bringing the total votes for 2022 to a whopping, fat-bear-sized 1,027,655 entries.

Oct. 11FinalsBear 747: 68,105
Bear 901: 56,876
 FBW 2022Total Votes1,027,655

And boy, did 747 earn those votes. As Explore.org’s footage shows above, the brown bear packed on unbelievable weight as he gorged on salmon (and berries!) throughout this year’s competition.

“The votes are in – You’ve decided to upgrade to fish class & fly w/ 747!” tweeted Katmai National Park as the results came in. “747 was deemed an order of magnitude more massive than 901, who experienced troubling tummy turbulence enroute.”

Yet Katmai says to “expect big things in the future for 901,” who “made a strong start in her 1st FBW appearance.” The runner-up is a truly massive bear, but ultimately couldn’t topple 747’s titanic heft.

Fat Bear Week’s Fat Bear Tuesday Roars On with Live Coverage

The conservation-based celebration is set to continue throughout the day as Katmai, Explore.org, and FBW fans around the globe celebrate Fat Bear Tuesday. Hosted by Mike Fitz, FBW’s live chat kicked off the main event as Katmai rangers chime in on this year’s record-breaking contest.

In the main broadcast, viewers can “Explore the lives of the two final contestants and the importance fat to brown bears with Explore.org’s resident naturalist Mike Fitz and Katmai National Park rangers.”

As for FBW itself, “Every summer, the story of Katmai National Park begins anew as majestic brown bears flock to Brooks Falls to hunt the sockeye salmon fighting their way upstream to spawn. Guiding us in this journey are Katmai’s Park Rangers … The unsung heroes of our bear cams and other experts that honor the natural world.”

The fun continues year-round, so be sure to join your fellow Outsiders in helping conserve this keystone species. Congratulations again to 747, reigning King of Chonk!

For more on the history of and inside scoop on the contest, be sure to see our National Parks Journal: Katmai Ranger Cheryl Spencer on the ‘Must-See’ Elements of Fat Bear Week next.