Fat Bear Week: Check out America's greediest grizzlies

Defending champion Otis, who weighs more than 450kg, does not let his missing teeth stop him from chowing down on fish

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Autumn is bulking-up season for Alaska's bears, with the burly bruins consuming as much as 225 kilograms of fresh fish before they hibernate for the winter.

Now, Americans will vote for the grandest of them all during Fat Bear Week.

The annual competition will see thousands of people fixated on webcams as they watch Alaska's brown bears, also known as grizzly bears, devour tonnes of salmon as they get ready to bed down for the cold season.

The event will also give visitors the opportunity to learn more about the bears and have a better understanding of Katmai National Park's ecosystem.

“Fat Bear Week is a celebration of success and survival. It is a way to celebrate the resilience, adaptability and strength of Katmai’s brown bears,” the national park said.

In a league-style competition, voters will select the bears that appear to have packed on the most weight before winter.

This year's competition features some heavy hitters, including defending champion Otis. Known for his floppy right ear, Otis does not let his missing teeth stop him from chowing down on fish. This four-time Fat Bear Week champion weighs in at more than 450kg.

But Bear 747 — named after the jumbo aircraft — could dethrone the defending champion. Bear 747, a Fat Bear Week winner himself, is near the top of the hierarchy in Brook Falls, Alaska, because of his gargantuan size.

Then there is Bear 856, whose “only real competition” in Brook Falls is Bear 747, the national park said.

Few scars blemish this bear's dark autumn coat, suggesting that his towering presence wards off would-be combatants.

The competition began in 2014, with a modest 14,000 ballots cast. But that figure soared to more than 800,000 votes last year.

Voting this year runs through October 11, when the ultimate ursine will be announced.

Updated: October 07, 2022, 12:50 PM