Two brown bears from the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage, Alaska recently feasted on prize-winning vegetables from the giant vegetable contest at the State Fair. Delivered by tractor, some of the vegetables weighed in over 77 pounds.
Along with the giant vegetable contest, the Alaska State Fair also includes the Pumpkin Weigh-Off and something called the Potato Parade, which I would very much like to be a part of.
According to the Daily Mail, the winning pumpkin was over 1,603 pounds, while the winning cabbage weighed in at 87 pounds. The fair officials donate 992 pounds of leftover vegetables to the Wildlife Conservation Center, feeding the Center’s six bears.
“The bears know when it’s chow time,” said the curator of the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Sarah Howard. “They were very hungry bears for produce this year.” Judging by the video, she’s right; they tear into the produce on the tractor, dragging it away to enjoy their feast. In a clip, you can even see one bear standing in the pile of produce, content as can be, picking at a huge cauliflower.
The massive vegetables are going towards a good cause: helping to fatten the bears up for hibernation. Along with vegetables, they also eat berries, leaves, and roots, as well as rodents and frogs. Starting in winter, they will need all the body fat they can get, as that will be their only source of nutrients for months.
Fat Bear Week Starts Today
Today, Sept. 29, kicks off Fat Bear Week in Katmai National Park; we’ve got all the details for your viewing and voting pleasure.
First of all, Fat Bear Week is the bracket-style contest for fat bears of Katmai in the week leading up to hibernation. During this week, and for most of the summer, the bears feast on calorie-rich salmon to bulk up for the winter. At the end of the week, after votes are tallied, the winner of the Fattest Bear is announced.
But how can I vote, you ask? Easy: the official Explore.com website has all you need to vote for your favorite, fattest bear. They have a link to download a blank bracket, so you can print it out and follow the winners as they’re called. Voting is currently open for two matchups: Holly versus Grazer, two females; and Popeye versus Walker, two of the males.
Additionally, the fattest cub was chosen to participate in the adult bracket. On Sept. 23 to 24, voting opened for the chubbiest cub in Fat Bear Junior, and number132 had the most votes. This cub will be pitted against either Holly or Grazer, depending on who wins.
I’ve already cast my vote, but I’m not going to tell you who I voted for. That’s my little fat bear secret.