On Tuesday night, "747" received his second Fat Bear title after beating his competitor, a young adult female bear identified as 901, by more than 10,000 votes.
Fat Bear Week is the annual knockout-style competition in which members of the public vote on which bear in Katmai National Park, Alaska, they think has gained the most weight from summer to fall.
First identified in 2004, Bear 747, a large adult male described as a nearly one-ton veteran, has gone on to become one of the largest brown bears on Earth, weighing as much as 1,400 pounds, according to Fat Bear Week.
The bear, who won for the first time in 2020, has a "blocky muzzle and a floppy right ear," per his bio, and his fur is reddish brown. "He is a skilled and efficient angler who is found fishing most often in the jacuzzi or near the far pool of Brooks Falls" in Katmai National Park.
Mike Fitz, the founder of Fat Bear Week and a former Katmai park ranger, has frequently endorsed 747 over the years, including this one, he told BuzzFeed News.
“It’s a bit of a running joke for me and some of the hardcore bear cam fans,” he said. “I’ve done that for the past several years, and 747 hasn’t won many. He’s only won one before. So I don’t think my endorsement carries that much weight.”
Why 747? Well, he’s an impressive bear, Fitz said.
“He is the largest bear I've ever seen," he said. "He’s always super fat in the fall, and he’s just a great bear to watch ... a tough competitor, one of the more dominant bears at the waterfall.”
Bear 747's competition this year was 901, a "medium-small yet quickly growing adult female.” She is around 6 years old and is often keen to “defend her fishing spots from other bears,” according to her biography on the website.
Fat Bear Week is put on in Alaska by Katmai National Park and explore.org to highlight the park's bears. Katmai is home to more than 2,200 brown bears, one of the largest brown bear populations in the world.
If you’re wondering whether there are prizes for the bears who win Fat Bear Week, the answer is, sadly, no.
“The bears don’t get anything from Fat Bear Week at all,” Fitz told BuzzFeed News. “They don’t know what’s going on. This is an imaginary and virtual competition.”
But for Fitz, it’s not about who wins. Instead, he sees this as an opportunity to get people thinking and learning about bears and their ecosystems.
“It’s important to think about how bears survive, why they survive, what they need to survive, and also to celebrate the ecosystem at Katmai that supports them,” Fitz said.