Something about fat bears really stirs the imagination of the internet. Just look at the bracket-style tourney held annually by Alaska’s Katmai National Park as part of #FatBearWeek.
Since you’re on this hyper-local website, you might be asking yourself: Where the fat Minnesota bears at? Great question. The fattest might just be thundering around near Voyageurs National Park. That’s where our researcher pals at the Voyageurs Wolf Project captured video of this full-figured king:
Wow. The size. The confidence. The uncanny resemblance to gum-chomping delinquent Violet Beauregarde after her inflation punishment.
This blimp-like bear is one of around 15,000 black bears that call Minnesota home, according to the DNR. Large adult males can tip the scale at 500+ pounds, so we’ll go out on a limb and ballpark our friend at around 600 lbs.—enough to earn the health-promoting scorn of golden-stethoscoped badboy Dr. Now. The largest black bear on record, a 1,000-pounder bagged by a New Brunswick hunter, was recorded in 1972, according to the Ely-based North American Bear Center.
The seasonal “fall shuffle” migration of the black bear sends ’em on long journeys in search of acorns, the DNR says, all in preparation of long slumbers where they live off stored body fat and don’t “eat, drink, urinate, or defecate” for up to seven months. Um, #goals! Given that intel, it’s safe to say our beefy pal above could hibernate for decades.
But no, we celebrate our jumbo furball of the northland, and the important work done by the social media savants at Voyageurs Wolf Project. Revisit our conversation with VWP from last month about the horrors of wolf poaching.