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"Fat Bear Week" ends as hibernation approaches in Pennsylvania

As "Fat Bear Week" comes to an end and hibernation looms it's important to remember bear safety as they take to southcentral Pa. to prepare.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — This year’s “Fat Bear Week” winner was Bear 747 from Katmai National Park in Alaska, and that same bear was the winner back in 2020 as well! 

“Fat Bear Week" watches bears bulk up on the Bear Cam to over 1,200 pounds as prep for the dormancy season.  

Starting back in 2014, the week started off as a way to celebrate the heaviest bears and the healthy ecosystems in Katmai National Park.  

Locally, Pa. has seen an uptick in bear visitors, as a result of their need for food. 

“Temperature doesn't really have anything to do with hibernation, it’s the lack of food sources that drive bears into dormancy seasons," said Amy Nabozny, the state game warden of the Pa. Game Commission.

For their survival, it's imperative that bears pack on the pounds!   

“They are trying to pack on as many calories as possible. They will get into a lot of various food sources whether we want them to or not,” said Nabozny    

 And they will do whatever it takes to get that food.

“[Bear's] sense of smell is incredible so that’s what they depend on. They can smell food sources from miles away,” said Nabozny.

Tips to keep in mind as hibernation looms.

  1. Bring in bird feeders before dark
  2.  Put trash out right before pickup 
  3. Clean up outdoor grills after use   

“Just use common sense and good judgment and keep those food sources cleaned up because that is what they are coming in for,“ said Nabozny.

Nabozny also reminds residents to respect the bears they see around the area and to appreciate them. It's not every day you get the chance to see the beautiful creatures.

To watch the "Bear Cam" click here.  

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