WATCH: 2020 Fat Bear Champion Bear 747 is So Huge He Struggles to Cross Terrain

by Shelby Scott

Bears are intelligent and fiercely hungry mammals in the United States this time of year. In commemoration of that, the country’s Katmai National Park and Preserve shared footage of one of the fluffy creatures making an attempt at conquering some rugged terrain recently. Each year, in preparation for the animals’ hibernation, the park hosts what’s called the “Fat Bear Week competition.”

This year, it appears last year’s champion, “747,” is leading the race. Check out the big guy below.

The footage captured the bear along the park’s Brooks River. Supposedly, this particular river has been brimming with 4,500-calorie fish. July saw numerous bears crowding the river to get their full. So while it appears the park bears are well-fed for the moment, chubby 747 remains dominant. He continues using his size to claim the best fishing spots in the area. This means the bear is collecting the most calories, leading to his impressive size.

Additionally, and despite the river trail’s popular use for the fat bears, 747 seems to struggle throughout the video. He makes multiple attempts to best gain his footing and keep from rolling back down the river bank. Park rangers caught the bear fishing in the popular spot last year too. Supposedly, he caught and consumed about 15 fish over a few hours. According to sources, the cameras caught the same bear struggling up the same path last year around this time. Not only is 747 an experienced hunter. He also seems to be a bear of regular habit.

The Park’s Fat Bears Indicate a ‘Very Healthy Ecosystem’

Many nature and animal lovers may worry that the fat bears’ size is detrimental to their health. However, it is actually quite the opposite. The large animals spend much of the winter season asleep. Therefore, they don’t eat, and it’s important for them to build fat stores to burn off as they doze through the harsh season.

Certain sources have called the park and its fat bears a “conservation success story,” enabling the animals to live without much hardship or scarcity.

Katmai National Park and Preserve’s media ranger, Naomi Boak, claimed, “This is a story about a very healthy ecosystem.” In a way she’s right. Not only has it been proven once again that the bears are eating well and may continue to thrive. It indicates that the waterways are healthy and that salmon populations have been able to thrive throughout this year and previous years.

“It’s about salmon that have cool enough and fresh enough water to thrive,” she concluded.

Leave it to a bunch of fish and fat bears to indicate the health of a natural region. Nevertheless, we commend both park maintenance individuals in their efforts to protect the land, animals, and waterways of the Katmai National Park and Preserve. Additionally, we wish all the fat bears the best of luck as the competition continues and they prepare for hibernation.