Fat Bear Week 2022 Winner: 747 is the champion again

After a week full of drama, belly bloat, success and He tried to deceive the voters The Internet has crowned 747 as the colossal king of Fat Bear Week 2022, beating rookie 901 by more than 11,000 votes.

This year’s finale came down to a battle between David and Goliath—figuratively speaking, both bears considered behemoths. Katmai National Park and ConservationDubbed “Bear Force One,” the 747, the undisputed big bear, went up against a competitor for the first time. With such an impressive collection Before and after photosShe was nicknamed the “747 of female bears”.

In fact, the 901 got so fat that she asked us “Economy, who?” The master of inflation ballooned so spectacularly A fan tweeted: “901 is so fat, it’s like her legs are set back.” But in this case Goliath won.

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For those who don’t know, Fat Bear Week A conservation awareness single-elimination tournament pitting 12 brown bears against each other in an online bracket in Katmai, Alaska. As the Bears finish beefing up for hibernation, fans vote Explore.org to their favorite contestant until Fat Bear is voted fattest on Tuesday.

It’s not a contest about which bear is the fattest. Just because male brown bears outnumber females twice, doesn’t mean they always win. When you see them in person, the 747 actually looks twice as big as the 901, says Lian Law, visual information specialist at Katmai.

Many fans can and do vote for what looks like the biggest bear, but many people consider the bear’s obesity, its personality (as noted Godmain Live Bear Games) or the hurdles it went through to become so fat that season.

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However, there is no denying the greatness of the 747, who Fat Bear won the week in 2020 and is estimated to weigh 1,400 pounds.

“You’re looking at one of the biggest bears in the world,” said Mike Fitz, creator of Fat Bear Week and Explore.org Resident naturalist, Fat Bear said Tuesday. “We don’t know exactly how big he is, but he’s one of the biggest bears … It may be a long time before we see another bear as big as him.”

From her before and after photos, it was three times more likely than the 901 Summer Front Rangers to guess she might be pregnant. Meanwhile, 747 started off the season big, but came back to the river this year, “probably because he got into a fight with another bear, and probably not very well,” Fitz said. It gave fans a reason to rally behind the big Bear Force One.

Both Bears stumbled their way through the finals.

“There were definitely regrets on some people’s minds, at least,” Fitz said.

Perhaps the most notable upset was how easily four-time champion 480 Otis was knocked out of the bracket. Despite having such a strong fan base, 26 years old Bear 901 and her blonde-fringed ears received more than 23,000 votes.

Fitz wasn’t surprised. Unlike Last year when Otis won (After coming to Brooks Falls late and very thin), he didn’t have enough impressive gains to retain his crown.

“He has such a devoted fan base that whenever he’s in the competition, if he doesn’t win, there’s a chance he’ll go far,” Fitz said. “But this year … I don’t think his physical transformation has been as dramatic as last year.”

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But the biggest shock of the week came Monday when pageant officials said someone — or a few people — had cast illegal ballots During the semi-final match between 747 and 435 Holi.

Candice Rush, spokeswoman Explore.org435 claimed that Holi lost about 90 per cent fraudulent votes. By about 7,500 votes in the semi-finals. A few illegal votes were cast for 747 to take the lead Explore.org The team believes this is an attempt by another fraudster or an attempt to throw off the scent of a larger conspiracy.

“It’s disappointing,” Fitz said. “A vote is what it is made of. Bears don’t know what’s going on and get no reward from us except for our admiration from afar.

After discovering the problem, Explore.org added a captcha step to the voting process to weed out bots and other automated attacks and returned to review the votes for other levels of the contest. They ruled out other widespread foul play.

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Rush said he wouldn’t divulge more details about how the fraud happened to avoid giving bad actors ideas for the future, but noted that it was very easy for the team to filter out spam votes.

Fat Bear Week superfan Jessica Truxes told The Washington Post that no matter what 435 Holly chooses to win, she wants to be crowned “fair and square” and is “sad that someone would screw something up.” Very fun and funny.”

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After some Debates on corruption Laila Manning, a 901 rooter, says the spirit and excitement has returned to the finals, both in the fans’ Facebook group and in new campaigns for their favorite bears.

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“Katmoin’s bears, these live cameras, these Facebook groups, this competition — what a haven this is for bears,” Manning said in an email. “Many people find their peace and companionship here.”

Despite the cheating scandal, Fat Bear Week 2022 was a huge success, organizers say.

“We want to learn about Katmai’s brown bears and see them in bear games, and in the long run, we want to be stewards of the landscape and protect their habitat,” Fitts said.

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