General, Research, Technology

What does the fattest bear look like?

In the southern part of the American state of Alaska there isKatmai National Park and very interesting events take place there. For the seventh year in a row, the park's owners and visitors have been holding the Fat Bear Week competition to determine the fattest bear in the reserve. And there are a huge number of those in this part of the planet - they look much more plump than individuals who live in Russia and other countries. Typically, the body weight of a brown bear (Ursus arctos) reaches a maximum of 600 kilograms. But animals living in reserves weigh much more and command even more respect. But why do the inhabitants of this particular reserve gain so much weight? And in general, how can you brag about your "weight"? Indeed, in the human world, being overweight is considered a problem that can lead to the development of serious diseases. Let's figure it out.

Number 747 is the fattest bear, if not in the world, but in Alaska for sure

The largest bears

The publication told about the fattest bearMashable. It is difficult to say whether he is the fattest in the world, but among the inhabitants of the Katmai nature reserve he is definitely the largest. The clubfoot fat man has no name, so visitors to the national park know him as the number 747. In 2020, his body weight was 635 kilograms, but over the past months he has become even larger. It is not known how much he weighs today, but the fact of winning the competition suggests that he still gained weight. However, naturalist and former park ranger Mike Fitz noted that this year all bears in the reserve are winners.

There are many bears in the reserve, but number 747 is the largest

The fact is that almost everyone living in Katmaithe animals eat very well. And in this territory, by the way, not only brown bears live. Moose, wolves, lynxes, eagles and other animals can be found in the protected area. They clearly feel great because Katmai is considered one of the wildest places in the United States. There are no power lines to this place, no roads and, in general, there is practically no development there. We can say this is just a paradise for wild animals. Predators in Katmai always have something to eat, but even more vulnerable animals feel great. Salmon, which made bears fattened, have safe spawning areas.

I wonder if these "plump" ones run as fast as bears from other countries?

Excess weight does not bother wild bears at all. It is only our bodies that suffer from accumulated fat, which becomes the cause of the development of cardiovascular diseases. And for bears, fat is very important, because in winter they hibernate and for several months receive nutrients by breaking down their subcutaneous stores. And they accumulate fat by actively feeding on salmon. The Alaska state authorities guarantee that the number of these fish in local rivers will not dry out for a long time. And all because fishing in the reserve is strictly prohibited. In general, Katmai Park can be called the personification of the word "nature".

See also: Why are bears attacking people more often?

Volcano Katmai

It should be noted that Katmai is not onlythe name of the reserve. In fact, under this name, the first thing to do is to accept the volcano, which is located in the territory of the national park. Its height is 2047 meters and its width is 10 kilometers. In its central part there is a caldera - a hollow with steep walls and a flat bottom. It is filled with a lake, which was formed during the eruption of the Novarupta volcano in 1912. From a bird's eye view, the Katmai volcano looks just amazing.

Volcano Katmai in winter

Bears, along with many other animalsof our planet are of great interest to scientists. Researchers are already familiar with living species - we already know what their way of life is and what danger they can pose. But there were other species of bears in the world that had already become extinct. For example, thousands of years ago, cave bears (Ursus spelaeus) walked the surface of our planet. Mostly they lived in caves and our distant ancestors, the Neanderthals, hunted them. Their growth reached 2.7 meters, while the brown bears living today grow only up to two meters. Of course, these ancient animals were very large. Probably, the bear number 747 mentioned in this article would look short next to them. You can read more about cave bears in this article.