Fat Bear Week is rocked by cheating allegations after organizers caught someone skipping the polls

It’s rigged! National park Fat Bear Week rocked by fraud claims after trolls spam online poll with more than 7,000 fake votes – as Alaska sets to crown its fattest animal ahead of hibernation season

  • Bear 747 was named the semi-final winner of the 2022 Fat Bear Week competition after organizers found more than 7,000 fake votes for his rival
  • The bear, who weighed about 1,400 pounds, received 37,940 valid votes, beating opponent Holly, who only had 30,430
  • Bear 747, one of the dominant bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park, who won the 2020 competition, advances to the finals
  • Many on Twitter were quick to poke fun at the cheating scandal, comparing it to the spectacle following the 2020 presidential election

The beloved Fat Bear Week contest was hit by a storm of cheating claims after organizers found thousands of fake votes had been cast for Sunday’s winner.

Katmai National Park, which hosts a bracket contest for bears pictured in the Alaskan Park, overturned the election result between Bear 747 and his opponent, Holly.

After removing more than 7,000 fraudulent votes, Bear won 747 with 37,940 votes to Holly’s 30,430.

The competition is set to crown its fattest animal ahead of hibernation season.

After noticing the fake votes, the national park tweeted: ‘Stopped by TSA for smuggling salmon, [Holly] missed her connection as the jumbo jet 747 cleared the runway.

‘This spacious freighter cruised to the final with a triumphant tailwind.’

Bear 747 was named the real winner in the semi-finals of the 2022 Fat Bear Week competition after organizers found more than 7,000 fake votes for his opponent

Bear 747 was named the real winner in the semi-finals of the 2022 Fat Bear Week competition after organizers found more than 7,000 fake votes for his opponent

Holly (above), the winner of the 2019 Fat Bear Week contest, received only 30,430 valid votes, while 747 received 37,940 votes

Holly (above), the winner of the 2019 Fat Bear Week contest, received only 30,430 valid votes, while 747 received 37,940 votes

Many on Twitter were devastated by the loss of Holly, who was the 2019 Fat Bear Week champion, but couldn’t help but compare the election to the 2020 presidential election.

Referring to the January 6 riots fueled by unsubstantiated claims that the presidential election was stolen, Twitter user Liz St Clair wrote: ‘NO I was so happy to see Holly leading. I feel like storming the national parks on January 6.’

Another Twitter user with the handle HottenAnnie joined in on the joke, tweeting: ‘Caution. We don’t want people storming the park violently.

Others tweeted, ‘STOP THE STEAL’ and ‘STOP THE COUNT’, the mantra former President Donald Trump chanted in his loss to Joe Biden.

Bear 747 advances to the semi-final round of the annual competition organized by Katmai National Park.  His opponent will be decided after Monday night's votes are tallied

Bear 747 advances to the semi-final round of the annual competition organized by Katmai National Park. His opponent will be decided after Monday night’s votes are tallied

Many took to Twitter to poke fun at the cheating scandal, comparing it to the disputed 2020 presidential election

Many took to Twitter to poke fun at the cheating scandal, comparing it to the disputed 2020 presidential election

With his newfound victory, Bear 747 will be in the finals and face the winner of Monday’s election.

The bear, estimated to weigh about 1,400 pounds, was found fishing every day at Brooks Falls between late June and mid-September as it prepared for hibernation.

Rangers from the national park noted that 747 was one of the dominant bears in the forest, and while bears tend to fight to claim their place, they said that 747 retains its rank ‘by size alone’.

The bear was a previous winner of the 2020 Fat Bear Week competition.

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