OAK RIDGE, NJ (AP) – A New Jersey black bear that walks upright on its two hind legs and has become a social media darling has re-emerged and has been captured on video months after its last sighting.
The bipedal bear nicknamed Pedals was spotted in the town of Oak Ridge, NJ.com reported Wednesday. The bear appeared to be in relatively good health and was moving briskly in a video posted to Facebook featuring the bear. The man who posted the video wrote that he spotted the bear Monday.
Pedals apparently has an injured leg or paw that doesn’t allow it to walk comfortably on all fours, according to experts. Prior to the latest video, there had been no reported recent sightings and officials asked the public for help in locating the bear.
“I can assure you it’s a real bear. Because I saw him walking normal like that on all fours, and then he stood up and walked on two like he was a man in costume,” one neighbor told WPIX.
Lawrence Hajna, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said officials expect the bear to make it through next winter.
“The bear has an indomitable spirit,” Hajna said.
The bear first gained fame after it was spotted ambling around neighborhoods and was caught on videos that were posted on social media and shown on national television.
Last year, supporters pushed for Pedals to be moved to a sanctuary in New York state, but New Jersey officials have said they won’t allow the bear to be captured and transferred to the facility. Hajna said at the time that the bear would do better in its natural habitat and the agency would step in if its condition deteriorated.
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