The U.S. Department of Interior posted a video Sunday of a bear majestically snagging salmon mid-air. The department’s Instagram caption gives followers facts about the Alaskan sockeye salmon that “migrate from Bristol Bay to spawn in rivers” each summer.
The image’s caption says, “At Katmai National Park in Alaska, salmon are the lifeblood of a fertile coastal ecosystem.” It continues to explain these salmon weigh an average of 5-7 pounds. The salmon can contain a whopping 4,500 calories when fresh from the ocean in July.
Evident in the video, which is paired with dramatic classical music, the salmon are vital for nourishing the bears that live on the National Park’s grounds. The bear in the video grabs a leaping salmon. The Department of Interior refers to #FatBearWeek, saying the bears feasting on the large salmon now, are likely to be stars of the upcoming week.
Fat Bear Week is hosted annually by the Katmai National Park and Reserve’s Facebook page. The week, which typically occurs in October, celebrates the largeness of the thousands of bears living on the park’s grounds. The bears gain weight for winter hibernation. The park puts the hefty bears up against each other, giving fans the ability to vote for that year’s fattest bear.
Both the US Interior and National Park Service get into the fun. They post to their social media the contestants, always sure to tag the Alaskan national park. Posts encourage users to visit Facebook to vote on their favorite.
Last year, a bear named Holly reigned victorious at the end of the #FatBearWeek voting. The Department of Interior posted an image of the winner on their Instagram, getting more than 80,000 likes.