Fat Bear Week crowns a queen and educates ursine health

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A black bear. Credit: CaliforniaDFW is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

If you’ve never heard of Fat Bear Week, you’re in for a treat. For the last few months, coastal brown bears up in Alaska have been gorging themselves on sockeye salmon in preparation for winter. Rangers in Katmai National Park and Preserve monitor their process and share the bears’ progress online. And for one week every October, fans get to vote on which bear should be crowned the fattest bear of the year. The voting traditionally closes on Fat Bear Tuesday, which was yesterday. The fatter the bear, the more likely they are to survive the long winter.