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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

It's Fat Bear Week 2020! Here's the fat bears we think could take it home this year

Illustration for article titled Its Fat Bear Week 2020! Heres the fat bears we think could take it home this year
Photo: Richard Levine/Corbis (Getty Images)

It’s here. It’s finally here. Hold on to your calorically-rich salmon reserves, because Fat Bear Week 2020 has arrived

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For those who missed last year’s rundown, allow us to bring you up to speed: Fat Bear Week—a.k.a. the most wonderful time of the year—comes courtesy of Katmai National Park & Preserve, and is their voter-driven competition to decide the chunkiest resident along southwestern Alaska’s Brooks River. As far as we’re concerned, each one of this year’s twelve contenders are champions in their own right.

Illustration for article titled Its Fat Bear Week 2020! Heres the fat bears we think could take it home this year
Image: Explore.org
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But, much like Highlander, there can only be one reigning tub of 2020. With this in mind, it is without further ado that we present to you our three favorites to win 2020's Fat Bear Week:

1) Bear No. 480, aka “Otis” 

Otis has a history of being a champion, so we know he’s got the gumption. He also took the Fat Bear Crown back in 2016, so we assume he’s been gunning for a re-coronation ever since. “Congratulations, you big fatty,” Katmai National Park’s official Twitter page announced in that simpler time that was pre-2016 election America. Just look at those hungry eyes—those are the sullen, cold blooded, pre-hibernation eyes of a champion.

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2) Bear No. 435, aka “Holly”

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Holly was last year’s winner, having come in with a whopping 80% of the popular vote during the final round, which isn’t particularly surprising. Like, just look at her. That’s one hefty girl. We doubt she’s forgotten how to build up those kinds of champion fat stores for the winter, so it stands to reason she could easily take the crown for a second year running. However, we may have discovered a ringer in the crowded field of competition...

3) Bear No. 435's currently unnamed spring cub

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Gasp. Yes, we’re afraid so. In true Shakespearean fashion, the reigning champion, Holly, had a daughter this past year who is now poised to supplant the queen. As Explore.org’s “Meet the Bears” page notes of this heir apparent: “Holly’s cub is well positioned to completely recover from the injury caused by porcupine quills, and she’s already shown improvement in mobility.” Tenacious, a royal lineage, and seemingly impervious to pain—Holly’s cub may just be the surprise favorite this year.

So there you have it, folks. Our three choice picks for Fat Bear Week 2020. Voting opens up to the public tomorrow and runs each day from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT until October 6. Each day brings a new matchup to pick from, so make your choices wisely.

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Andrew Paul is a contributing writer with work recently featured by NBC Think, GQ, Slate, Rolling Stone, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He writes the newsletter, (((Echo Chamber))).

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