For the past seven days, 12 brown bears have been pitted against each other in a competition of tubbiness and fluff. But now the fourth annual Fat Bear Week, a competition run by the rangers at Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve, has come to a close. There’s a new queen in the den, and her name is Beadnose.
Beadnose had to earn the popular vote, winning out over a competitive field of fat bears to get to where she is today. After a nail-biting week, though, this Fat Bear Tuesday she surpassed the male bear simply known as 747, a big boy that some inaccurately predicted would take it all. Early on, she overtook 480 Otis, a crowd favorite who’s won the competition twice before. And while the competition is fun for humans to observe, it’s a matter of survival for bears like Beadnose, Otis, and 747. Tuesday’s results prove that Beadnose is not here to mess around. Beadnose is here to survive winter.