Up in Alaska, where brown bears grow to enormous sizes, the amount of weight various bears gain after emerging from their dens and before retreating to hibernation has drawn significant attention.

The annual Fat Bear Week contest, in which on-line voters choose which among the Katmai National Park bruins has porked out the most, draws tens of thousands of human participants.

On Oct. 5 Otis claimed the 2021 title with 51,230 votes, beating out Walker who garnered 44,834 votes.  

Meantime, closer to home in Grand Teton National Park, Bruno stepped out of the willows a couple of weeks ago to expose his own gargantuan grizzly girth. David and Shannon Biegel, founders of the travel website EnjoyYourParks.com, captured an image of the bruin and his bulging belly that illustrates the reserves bears accumulate before heading into hibernation.

“This handsome guy is rumored to be the father of one or more of Grizzly 399’s [four] cubs as he was seen ‘courting’ her during the 2019 mating season,” they wrote in a Facebook post. “It’s theoretically possible that each cub could have a different father,” due to bear biology, the post reads.

Bruno might not measure up to members of the Katmai clan but he remains impressive in the Lower 48, even when standing in front of massive Mount Moran and the other towering Tetons.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at angus@wyofile.com or (307)...

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