The November elections may be right around the corner, but one race wrapped up this week without much recognition from the national papers or broadcast networks — much to my chagrin.

Dubbed “jumbo jet” by the National Park Service, 747 — an adult male brown bruin in Brooks Falls, Alaska — topped the ticket of Katmai National Park’s Fat Bear Week 2020 in two ways: Weighing in at over 1,400 pounds and earning 47,055 votes.

When polls closed Oct. 6, the 10th annual Fat Bear Week competition — solely up to the biases of wild animal lovers — had 747 and Chunk behind to behind for fattest bear.

The semi-finals proved tight as Chunk just snarled a chance to compete against 747, beating out Grazer 28,814 votes to 26,647.

But alas, he was no match for a bear compared to a Boeing airliner.

“747’s voluminous visage eclipsed 32’s chunky chassis,” the Katmai National Park & Preserve announced Wednesday morning. “No longer the runner-up, 747 fulfills the fate of the fat and fabulous as he heads off to hibernation.”

The annual competition puts 12 bears from Brooks River in Alaska’s Katmai National Park on a March Madness-like bracket to see which one will pack in the most pounds before they hunker down for hibernation season.

While this competition did not garner as much media coverage as the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, these fluffy friends were not forgotten entirely.

News networks such as The Guardian, USA Today, NPR and CNN all reported 747’s success — touting him as “the most fabulously fat” and one “blubbery beast.”

But let’s put a paws on carnivorous talk as the only fluffy creatures north of the Annisquam Bridge are piping plovers — and they don’t even surmount to 737’s snout.

With the novel coronavirus pandemic taking all the fun out of fall sports, it’s time that the island had its own little competition: Phat Leaf Week 2020.

We trail-lovers (aka behind the news desk) will determine which autumnal leaf is the phattest (a colloquial term for most excellent) and the winner will be awarded bragging rights throughout all of Cape Ann.

You can either send the leaf by mail to 36 Whittemore St. or submit a photograph of your leaf to tbradford@gloucestertimes.com. Be sure to include your name and phone number in case there are questions (the number will not be published).

Polls close Oct. 16 at midnight and the winner will be announced in our Oct. 23 column.

If you happen to find a trail while searching for the phattest leaf, feel free to drop a line as it could be the next path we review.

Want to suggest your favorite trail for review? Or, Don’t want others flooding the woods you love? Let staff writer Taylor Ann Bradford know. While carrier pigeon is her preferred mode of communication, she can be reached at 978-675-2705 or tbradford@gloucestertimes.com.

FALL CONTEST

The Times is running a little competition: Phat Leaf Week 2020.

We’re looking for an autumnal leaf that is the phattest (a colloquial term for most excellent) and the winner will be awarded bragging rights.

Either send the leaf by mail to 36 Whittemore St. or submit a photograph to tbradford@gloucestertimes.com. Be sure to include your name and phone number in case we have questions.

Deadline to enter is Oct. 16 at midnight. The winner will be announced in our Oct. 23 column.

 

Recommended for you