The Battle of the Bears: Will Chubby Cub 806 Jr Prevail Against the Seasoned Champions?

Fat Bear Week has become a beloved phenomenon, capturing the hearts of millions as they vote for the fattest bear in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. This year, the spotlight is on 806 Jr, a young spring cub who has been making impressive gains in weight. However, it remains to be seen if he can out-chub the likes of Otis and Colbert, the current favorites for the competition. In this article, we delve into the challenges faced by the bears, the incredible feeding habits they possess, and the significance of Fat Bear Week as a celebration of the work and success of brown bears.

Fat Bear Week, founded by former park ranger Mike Fitz in 2014, has grown exponentially in popularity, with over a million votes cast last year. The event showcases the brown bears of Katmai National Park as they gather along the banks of the Brooks River to feast on salmon. The bears’ goal is to consume as many pounds as possible before the harsh winter sets in, requiring them to eat a year’s worth of food in just six months.

One bear that has caught the attention of many is 806 Jr, a 70lb spring cub who is already the reigning champion in the junior category. Despite his adorable appearance and near-Disney-level cuddliness, he faces a tough challenge in the form of seasoned veterans like Otis and Colbert. Otis, a four-time champion, has the advantage of experience and a good chance of emerging victorious, despite his age and missing teeth.

The competition in Fat Bear Week is not separated by bear gender, size, or age, making it an uneven playing field. However, this disparity adds to the excitement as fans eagerly vote for their favorite bear. The event garnered around 10 million viewers in 2022, with many tuning in to witness the bears in action, jockeying for the best fishing spots along the river.

The feeding habits of these bears are truly astonishing. A good day’s catch for a bear is approximately 10 salmon, but they are capable of consuming much more. Some bears have been observed eating up to 6,000lb of food in a single summer-fall feast. The weight gain resulting from such massive caloric intake is most noticeable in spring cubs like 806 Jr, who can exceed 70lb by the end of fall.

While the males can gain significant weight, mother bears face unique challenges in getting fat. The energy expended protecting cubs and producing milk often results in slimmer body sizes compared to single males and females. However, this disadvantage has not stopped bears like Holly, also known as “supermom,” from winning Fat Bear Week. Size does not always matter in this competition, as it is about celebrating the stories and successes of brown bears.

Fat Bear Week has gained a global following since its inception, with fans eagerly voting for their favorite bears. The event has even had unexpected positive outcomes, such as the rescue of a stranded hiker when viewers were tuning in to spot bears on the live stream. This highlights the impact and reach of Fat Bear Week beyond the competition itself.

Fans can participate in the voting process on’s website from 4th to 10th October, between 12:00-21:00 EST. As the excitement builds, millions of people worldwide will be anticipating the announcement of the ultimate winner. Fat Bear Week serves as a reminder of the incredible wildlife that surrounds us and the importance of protecting and celebrating their existence.

In summary, Fat Bear Week is a captivating event that showcases the feeding habits and weight gain of brown bears as they prepare for winter. This year, the competition is fierce, with newcomer 806 Jr challenging the seasoned champions like Otis and Colbert. The event has garnered a massive following, with millions of viewers tuning in to witness the bears’ antics. Fat Bear Week is not only a competition but also a celebration of the diversity and success of brown bears, reminding us of the importance of conservation and appreciation for these magnificent creatures.