Image: Katmai National Park and Preserve/G/O Media
All hail Holly, winner of Fat Bear Week 2019 as well as our hearts.
After a week of head-to-head competition, finalists 775 Lefty faced off against 435 Holly in a battle to be named the fattest and fullest bear of Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve. And reader, the people have spoken.
The park announced the internet has chosen this year’s chonky champion to be Holly, fattest bear of them all following a Tuesday vote on the park’s Facebook page. I mean, just look at these results:
Now in its fifth year, Fat Bear Week gives ursine enthusiasts around the world a chance to vote on the bear they deem most committed to beefing up for the coming winter. It’s not just about celebrating gains. Theses absolute units will rely on their fat stores to hold them over through hibernation.
Each spring and summer, viewers have been able to watch in real-time as the brown bears of Katmai National Park and Preserve gorge themselves on all the Brooks River salmon and berries they can possibly devour. And each fall, a bracket of remarkably portly bears compete for the esteemed distinction of fattest bear as voted on by fans on the park’s Facebook page.
This year, Holly—a rotund beauty—has been dubbed the “Queen of Corpulence” for her ability to pack on the pounds she’ll need to stay healthy throughout the cold months ahead.
Fat Bear Tuesday saw our newly crowned queen face-off against Lefty. The before and after photos show that both bears gained an extraordinary amount of weight since emerging from their dens in the spring. By fall, both of these curvy wonders had expanded to roughly double their size. But in the end, only one could claim that crown and it was Holly—whose transformation is truly inspiring, as was noted by her many, many adoring fans.
Bow down to this fat, beautiful bear, your 2019 Fat Bear Week champion and my only queen.