Monday, April 15, 2024
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Will the shutdown affect Alaska’s Fat Bear Week?

Alaska’s most closely watched popularity contest could be in jeopardy.

Juneau, Alaska—A Government shutdown is imminent Threatening to intrude on a beloved Alaskan tradition: Fat Bear Week.

During Fat Bear Week, Alaska’s most watched popularity contest, residents pick their favorite fat brown bear, which has been eating salmon in Katmai National Park and Preserve to stock up on food for the winter. Bear online audience Those who wish to advance to the next round are voted on in a tournament format until a champion is crowned during the week-long competition.

More than 1 million votes were cast last year.

The issue is, National Park Employees are responsible for counting and publishing those votes, and a government shutdown would not allow them to do so, as any shutdown would trigger a ban on the use of the park’s official social media accounts.

“If a mistake occurs, we will need to postpone Fat Bear Week,” park spokesperson Cynthia Hernandez said in an email to The Associated Press.

if Congress fails to reach agreement Businesses will be closed Sunday to help fund the federal government. This year’s Fat Bear Week competition is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

The National Park Service estimates there are 2,200 brown bears in the park, more than there are residents on the peninsula. They have six to eight months to eat a year’s worth of food and secure their way through winter, according to the agency.

Katmai brown bears are famous for standing at the mouth of Brooks Falls to catch sockeye salmon to fatten up for the winter. They are a huge attraction for parks on the Alaska Peninsula, the landmass that stretches from the southwest corner of Alaska to the Aleutian Islands about 250 miles (402.3 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage.

This spectacle attracts so many visitors that three viewing platforms have been set up near the falls, as well as bridge A boardwalk on the Brooks River keeps visitors safe from bears.

several cameras by Discovery Network Provide live broadcast of Katmai Bear.

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