Fat Bear Week Winner 128 Grazer Smokes the Competition
Updated: Oct 22
By Elijah Haimowitz
WHITE PLAINS--On October 10, the winner of the national park service's annual Fat Bear Week was decided. Fat Bear Week is a competition that happens every year in October. For this competition, bears from Katmi National Park are pitted against one other in a March Madness style bracket to find out who among them is the fattest of them all.
For each day of the competition, there were two polls, one on each side of the bracket. For these polls people would vote on which bear they believed was fatter and cuter. Over 100,000 people voted each day, with a combined total of more than a million votes tallied. However even when competing against a thick blanket of intense cuteness, two bears managed to stand out more than the rest.
32 Chunk is a bear who seemed to be unstoppable. He was given a huge advantage to start by immediately skipping the first round and being put into the second, and when Chunk's time to shine came he did not disappoint. 32 Chunk consistently won votes by tens of thousands and was practically unstoppable. He demolished his competition never winning by less than 30,000 votes. However, although 32 Chunk remained dominant, people started to wonder who could stop him. Who could kill the god of all chunky bears?
And then out of the blue came a new challenger, one that would put 32 Chunk to the test. 128 Grazer is a female bear who is raising two litters of cubs. According to explore.org, “She often preemptively confronts and attacks much larger bears —even large and dominant adult males—in order to ensure her cubs are safe.” This show of strength gave her enough of a reputation that other bears would stay away from her, which allowed her to get an abundant amount of food for herself and her cubs. 128 Grazer was so beautiful that even though she was given the disadvantage of competing in the first round, she managed to stay on top.
On the first day of the competition, she won by 135,000 votes against her competitor's 12,000. This dominance stayed over the course of the week with Grazer consistently winning by over 50,000 votes each time. Grazers dominance carried her to the final where she was faced with her first real challenge: 32 Chunk.
After a week of struggle these two bears showed dominance like no others. Now the only thing left to do was vote. On October tenth, the polls opened and over the next eight hours votes swarmed in from people praying their favorite bear would win. When the dust settled, 130,000 people had voted, 32 Chunk had 23,000 votes while 128 Grazer managed to absolutely dominate once again with 108,000 votes.
This year's Fat Bear Week was amazing and brought thousands of people together all in celebration of the one thing we all love, pictures of cute animals. And now that its over all that’s left to do is to patiently wait for next years fat bear week to come around.