A bear affectionately named “Pedals” due to his ability to walk upright on his hind legs (making him a “bipedal bear”) was seen walking around neighborhoods in Oak Ridge, New Jersey, this week, looking remarkably like a person in a bear costume. But if — like me — your first reaction is to go, “Aww, he thinks he’s people!” it becomes quickly apparent watching the video that the reason Pedals walks upright is because his right paw is missing.
North Jersey residents have been spotting Pedals for close to a year now, after the then-injured bear was first seen back in August. Pedals had sustained injuries to both his right leg and left paw, most likely after having been hit by a car, according to Kelcey Burguess, a black bear biologist with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. A GoFundMe page was even set up by concerned locals who feared Pedals wouldn’t make it through the winter.
As evidenced by video footage surfacing this week, however, Pedals made it through the winter. The bear even came out on the other side of the season, appearing to be in good health after adapting to his injuries. Go Pedals!
Here’s another video of Pedals filmed this week by local resident Joey Esposito: