Voting for Fat Bear Week opened Wednesday, giving fans another long-awaited opportunity to root for their favorite tiny-eared floofs in this year’s bracket of contestants.
Internet users have built an annual tradition around returning to the live cams to spend a day — or more — with the bears at Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve. As new and familiar faces alike emerge from hibernation every summer to feast up for the coming winter, the ways they find food, raise offspring and survive injuries all tell unique stories of resilience.
Voting continues through Tuesday, and many people have flocked to the digital polls already, organizers said. Turnout looks likely to rival or surpass last year’s total of around 800,000 votes.
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Fans love the bears for more than just their ability to double in size: Longtime favorites — like four-time champion 480 Otis — have consistently wooed voters with their charming personalities.
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