FAT. BEAR. WEEK. Katmai National Park

One of my many [so many] travel goals is to visit all of the US National Parks. There are currently 61 [as of October 1, 2021] and I’ve been to roughly half of them. But my favorite one is one I’ve never visited. It’s at the top of the National Park Bucket List is Katmai National Park in King Salmon, Alaska. It’s not cheap and it’s not easy to get to. But seeing the Alaskan Brown Bear in its natural habit is one of my life goals. And of these Alaskan Brown Bears, my favorite bear is old man Otis. Otis is estimated to be around 26-28 years old which in bear years is practically ancient. Otis has a floppy ear–most likely from a previous bear scrap, and is missing most of his canines. The other teeth are worn down to nubs as well. Mr Otis is a gentleman bear–not usually involved in bear scraps these days and prefers fishing from the same spot on the river. In fact, fat bear aficionados–such as myself–refer to this spot as Otis’s office–even if Otis is not occupying said spot.

Every year, the first Tuesday of October is also known as Fat Bear Tuesday. FBT occurs when Katmai’s fattest bear is crowned as voted on by fat bear fans all over the world. My vote is for Otis. Otis may not be the fattest by poundage–although he is pleasantly plump–but he has definitely gained the most weight in the shortest period of time. And I like to cheer for the under(bears).

The winner for the 2021 is Otis!!!. Pleasantly plump Holly won in 2020. She’s almost as old as Otis and is still out there having little bear babies.

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