There aren’t many good and pure things in this life, especially now, with everything that’s been happening. Sometimes, people need something to unite them, like sports or monumental Hollywood drama, or maybe a collection of huge bears with cute ears and big fluffy paws that could likely kill you in 14 seconds flat. And that’s why Fat Bear Week is so integral to the people!
Fat Bear Week is an annual event where fans can choose which Fat Bear is the Best Fat Bear, better than the rest of them all, as they prepare for hibernation. This year, we were met with some really top-notch bears like Chunk, a grizzly guy with a heart of gold, or Otis, the fan-favorite blonde bear who is always up to no good (probably…because he’s a bear). But this year, instead of some stiff but friendly competition, Fat Bear Week was tainted by America’s favorite deadly pastime: voter fraud.
On Sunday, the official Katamai National Park Twitter account revealed the news: “It appears someone has decided to spam the Fat Bear Week poll, but fortunately, it is easy for us to tell which votes are fraudulent. We have discarded the fake votes.” This is the most scandalous thing to happen to bears since Paddington ate lunch with the Queen and was labeled a class traitor.
🚨🚨🚨FAT BEAR WEEK SCANDAL🚨🚨🚨
Like bears stuff their face with fish, our ballot box, too, has been stuffed.
— Katmai National Park (@KatmaiNPS) October 10, 2022
Rolling Stone spoke to Amber Kraft of the National Parks Service, who said that it was immediately clear that there were some fake email addresses involved. “747 was leading in votes for the whole day and by quite a substantial amount,” Kraft says. “When there were just a few hours of voting left we noticed that 435 Holly received over 9,000 votes in a very short period of time.” It seems like Holly just so happened to know a lot of bears with really fast internet connections and opposable thumbs. Or maybe it was just a bunch of internet users with a lot of free time and a concerning obsession with bears.
The votes were quickly disregarded, and Holly was sent back to the loser’s circle for now, while Mr. 747 flew ahead of the competition as fast as a Boeing 747 jet…or something like that.
While the ordeal is worrisome for the future of Bear Democracy, it’s all in good fun to the humans. Kraft added, “We hope that the awareness that Fat Bear Week brings will grow into caring and action in whatever way makes the most sense for each individual.” Next year, maybe they will give each bear their own Twitter account! Actually, maybe not.