Fat Bear Week 2018 Endorsement

Last October I wrote, “There are small and fat bears, old and fat bears, young and fat bears, and just plain fat bears. But none, NONE I say, are as fat as 747.” A year later, 747 continues to demonstrate his survival skills and success at Brooks River. He’s big enough and fat enough to once again earn my official endorsement for Fat Bear Week 2018. 747 is titanic, a giant among bears.

GIF of large, dark brown bear walking down a steep hill

Bear 747 is an adult male in the prime of his life. First identified as a subadult bear in 2004, he’s matured into the largest bear I’ve ever seen.


But don’t just take my word for it. Bear 747 is endorsed by several of his competitors at Brooks River.

bear lying on ground

“Look, we’re all fat right now, but no one is as fat as 747. Seriously, his belly nearly drags on the ground. Even I never achieved that level of pudge. “ Bear 410

profile of bear walking along edge of river

“I keep my distance from him because I’m concerned he’ll roll on top of me.” Bear 68


“I’m still in awe of his size. Can he even dig a den big enough to fit within?” Bear 402.

bear with blond ears and blond coat standing in water

“Even though I’m in the Fat Bear Week bracket, I still might vote for 747. It’s the logical vote. He probably weighs at least three times as much as me.” Bear 719

profile of brown bear standing on edge of waterfall

“747 is a role model of fat bear success. I hope to be as fat as him one day.” Bear 503

bear sitting in water below waterfall

“I’m too hungry to comment.” Bear 480 Otis.

Many people who have observed 747 closely also agree with the endorsement.

bear lying in water facing photographer

“He’s all business—fishing and eating. Nobody gets fat like 747.” Jeanne R., former Katmai National Park ranger.

Too much fat is unhealthy for humans, but fat is essential to the survival of brown bears. It is a savings account against famine. Without ample fat, bears do not survive hibernation. In spring, often a season of starvation for bears, females with cubs will metabolize fat into milk to nurse their growing cubs, and adult males will use their fat to fuel their pursuit of mates.

747 won’t be rearing any cubs next spring as male brown bears play no role in raising offspring. During a season when almost no high calorie foods are available to bears, 747 will use his fat to roam the landscape for mates instead.

Other bears might be more charismatic or tug on your heartstrings, but 747 truly is a giant among Brooks River bears. He deserves your vote for Fat Bear Week 2018.

Katmai Fat Bear Week Bracket 2018 Fitz choices.png

My 2018 Fat Bear Week bracket predictions.

You are encouraged to vote for Brooks River’s fattest bear on Katmai National Park and Preserve’s Facebook page. Starting on Oct. 3, park rangers will post head-to-head matchups between well-known bearcam bears. The bear whose photo receives the most likes will advance to the next round, until one bear is crowned fattest bear on Fat Bear Tuesday, October 9th. Don’t forget to watch Katmai’s fattest bears on bearcam.




16 thoughts on “Fat Bear Week 2018 Endorsement

  1. This is great! While 747 and his huge belly may not be able to take off and soar the friendly skies… I am sure he will continue to slowly waddle along, and taxi the runways of Brooks Falls all the way to become the winner as the
    “2018 Fattest Bear” at Katmai! ✈️🐻😜
    #team747allthe way

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for such a great post. Yes, I think 747 will get my vote. That shot of him coming down the hill proves he deserves to win. I have been watching the bears pretty much since the inception and this year has definitely been the best. Even the sub adults are fat! I don’t ever remember a year where there were no fatalities, damaging fights, number of bears fishing continually and of course the huge salmon run. Bears rule!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No way my friend !! 747 was born big , he can eat have as much and be big, it takes skill to be big like Chunkaroo ! Plus he went through a growth spurt its even harder to get fat and Chunky 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mike,
    You’ve seen 747 up close recently, do you think he was heftier last year? Or is my suspicion swayed by your great video from Sept 2017? The one where he is slowly “chasing” 856 and stops to scratch his back on a tree.


  5. Mike- you are an intelligent man, a great human being, and a wonderful writer. I love reading about your adventures and appreciate that you share them with us here. You have built a really sound argument for your bear. But Beadnose is my fat bottomed girl!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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