A Federal Government Shutdown Could Cancel “Fat Bear Week”

It’s one thing to mess with important government services and agencies, but when you start messing with the fat bears, there’s a problem. Every year during the first week of October, the bears of Alaska’s Katmai National Park are put into a March Madness-style bracket on the Fat Bear Week website, where people vote to crown the best, fattest bear. If the government shuts down, the National Park Service won’t be permitted to update websites or social media pages, which means that Fat Bear Week wouldn’t happen. Keith Moore, the lead interpretive park ranger at the park, says there are “plans in place” in case of a shutdown, but hasn’t revealed what kind of backup they have for the chunky bears and their annual contest.