'Fat Bear Week' in Alaska Concludes with a Brand New Winner

On Tuesday, the brown bear 747 — who weighs an estimated 1,400 pounds — was crowned the champion of the competition, which was rocked by a voting scandal this year

fat bear week winner bear 747
Photo: L. Law/Katmai National Park and Preserve

Bear 747 may not be as big as the airplane that shares his name, but the animal has a huge new title.

On Tuesday night, the brown bear, who weighs an estimated 1,400 pounds, was named the champion of Fat Bear Week, an annual contest that embraces the healthy appetites of the massive animals who roam Katmai National Park and Reserve in Alaska.

Bear 747 received 68,105 votes, while runner-up Bear 901 got 56,876 in online voting, Explore.org announced.

According to his bio, 747 recently became the most dominant bear in the region, presiding nearly every summer day at Brooks Falls in a quest to fatten up.

The "skilled and efficient angler" gobbled up salmon in the jacuzzi and far pool areas of the water feature, edging out other bears for the prime fishing spots, according to Explore.

An average male adult can go from weighing 600 to 900 pounds in midsummer to well over 1,000 pounds by the fall, according to the national park.

fat bear week
Katmai National Park and Preserve/Flickr

Throughout the week-long voting period, a live cam granted animal lovers and curious onlookers glimpses of the bears fishing — all before they hibernate for the winter.

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Like many a competition, however, Fat Bear Week was not without controversy.

On Sunday, organizers revealed that "someone stuffed the ballot box."

According to CNN, the voting scandal came to light when another bear, 435 Holly, began receiving a suspiciously high amount of votes in a short period of time.

"While not unheard of, it is very uncommon for a bear to come back late in the day like that," Explore.org's Candice Rusch told CNN. "We ended up finding just over 9,000 spam votes."

Officials added a captcha feature to the online voting to rectify the issue, the outlet reported.

Fat Bear Week began in 2014, when Otis — this year's defending champ — won the first iteration. The bear went on to win the title again in 2016 and 2017.

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