New Jersey – A bipedal black bear named ‘Pedals’ appeared once again after months of staying out of sight. He was spotted on the Old Woodland trail.
The bear was first spotted in August 2014 walking upright in a backyard. It is missing part of his right front leg, and the front left one is injured. It caught the attention of people because of its human-like walk, which led people to wonder if it was an individual in a bear costume. A video was posted on social media, and became viral, making him the most beloved bear on social media.
Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the New Jersey Environmental Protections Agency’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, was in charge of Pedals’ case, but they organization lost sight of him. They even asked people for help in case of seeing the bear.
December 21 was the last day he was seen, in West Milford, and there were concerns on whether he would survive the winter.
After months of not knowing his whereabouts, the bipedal bear was spotted on June 20 on the Old Woodland trail near the golf house. The video that registered the most recent apparition of Pedals shows that his health is good, and he is still quite spry. With both front legs injured, he still managed to find enough food for the winter. His estimated weight is around 350 pounds.
https://t.co/eJBCvYH9kw <=click Pedals takes mud bath. u can see the pain he has in two front legs, one leg no paw, one leg paw dangling
— Pedals The Bear (@PedalsTheBear) October 11, 2015
By the time the black bear was first seen, wildlife authorities had inferred the animal most likely got hit by a car. According to NJ.com, Hajna said that it would adapt to the injuries, which the bear has demonstrated by walking upright on its hind legs, and for that, he is considered a bipedal.
Last year, supporters of the community claimed for the black bear to be transferred to the Orphan Wildlife Center, a sanctuary located in New York with experience in taking care of black bears. They would have built a uniquely designed space for the bear and its needs, and it would have included a door where it could walk through and a pond. Also, another 14 bears were by then in the facility, so Pedals would have had an enclosure with other bears. They even released a GoFundMe page to raise money to relocate Pedals.
— S.P.Richards Company (@SPRichards) October 9, 2015
Nearly $28,000 were raised, but New Jersey officials refused, stating that he would do better in its natural habitat. Later, a petition through Care2 demanding the New Jersey agency’s officials to allow the relocation of the bear. Hajna said that relocating the bear was a hasty decision, but if its condition deteriorated, the agency would step in.