We have a new clip of the 4-time-winning Fat Bear Week Champion, Otis. The Twitter account, Explore.org, posted a video of the iconic beast strolling through a river.
“Otis sighted on bear cam taking a slow, leisurely concession stroll. Time to pass the torch. Long live the king,” the account wrote on Saturday.
“Otis was four to six years old when he was first identified in 2001, and he’s now one of the older male bears at Brooks River. As bears age, they experience a variety of challenges and Otis is no exception,” Explore.org said about the reigning chunky champion, who isn’t getting any younger.
Not only is King Otis a behemoth, but he is also one of the oldest brown bears alive today. At an astounding 26 years old, Otis is an exceptionally rare creature. According to wildlife experts, you seldom see one of these species reach this age. Yet, today, he’s alive and well despite missing two canines and having a shaggy coat.
Although he’s not a youngin’ anymore, Otis once ate a feast of 42 salmon in one sitting. And he barely had to work for it — he used his technique of patience to score the salmon. In addition, Otis has won more Fat Bear Week championships than any other animal, winning the title in 2016, 2017, and 2021.
Reigning ‘Fat Bear’ champ Otis spotted ahead of crowning
Katmai National Park kicked off its annual Fat Bear Week on Oct. 5. The park will name its King on Oct. 11, where some of Alaska’s most giant bears are ranked before winter hibernation begins.
The event will also celebrate Katmai’s brown bear population’s resilience, adaptability, and strength as the animals prepare to hibernate, according to the National Park Service.
In a March Madness-style bracket, the single-elimination tournament has chosen 12 of the animals to compete for the title of the fattest bear. Voters can participate from home and make their bracket picks at fatbearweek.org. The winner will be announced on “Fat Bear Tuesday,” Oct. 11, 2022.
According to explore.org., some of the world’s largest brown bears reside at Brooks River in Katmai National Park. In addition to 406, other contenders include 32 Chunk and 128 Grazer.
32 Chunk is a large, adult male bear with a dark fur coat. According to the NPS, he’s consistently been one of the region’s most dominant bears.
In previous years, 32 has weighed up to 1,200 pounds and can be identified with the scar across his snout.
128 Grazer is a female in her late teens with “distinctive fluffy blonde ears,” per the NPS. As one of the more dominant females at the falls, 128 can also be aggressive when cubs are nearby or when she’s fishing for food.