If there’s one thing you do today, it should undoubtedly be bowing down to Holly, your new Fat Bear Week champion.

I must admit that I didn’t know what Fat Bear Week was until today, and some people I talked to even thought it was a joke. But now that I’ve been educated, I’m aggressively invested and will be following the competition avidly for years to come.

I must say, Holly, this year’s winner (bear 435), has achieved a degree of plumpness that is nothing short of inspiring.

What is Fat Bear Week?

The idea is to celebrate and publicize the majestic bears, who eat as much as they can during this time of year to bulk up for hibernation.

According to NPR, for the past five years, Fat Bear Week has been an annual event in Katmai National Park and Preserve in southwestern Alaska.

Essentially, the idea is to celebrate and publicize the majestic bears, who eat as much as they can during this time of year to bulk up for hibernation. So what quantity amounts to “as much as they can”? Bears must eat one year’s worth of food in a mere six months in order to survive hibernation, the park wrote after last year’s competition.

Sports enthusiasts can compare Fat Bear Week to March Madness — and when you think about it, what’s the difference, really? After all, the park rangers essentially put all their bears in a bracket, displaying their wondrous girth in each photo, and inviting the public to support their favorite.

This sounds like an incredible time, and I am now mildly upset that I’ve never partaken in Fat Bear Week myself.

All hail Holly

Alas, there can only be one champion.

In a match against 11 other bears fresh out of hibernation prep, Holly indeed prevailed. Honestly, it wasn’t even a contest: In the end, Holly had about 17,500 votes, while her closest competitor had around 3,600.

The preserve announced her triumph on Facebook, writing: “She is fat. She is fabulous. She is 435 Holly. And you voted her the 2019 Fat Bear Week Champion. All hail Holly whose healthy heft will help her hibernate until the spring. Long live the Queen of Corpulence!”

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