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‘Pedals’ the Black Bear Walks Like a Human

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OAK RIDGE, N.J. -- A black bear in New Jersey nicknamed 'Pedals' -- because he walks upright like a human -- is out and about in New Jersey again after his last sighting a few months back.

Residents in the Oak Ridge area (most of them?) were thrilled to see the bear again, a social media darling last spotted December 21 in West Milford, according to

"He really does look like a human in a bear costume," Rich Tucker, who lives in Old Woodland Trail told

Pedals still looks to be doing well as he strolls along, although officials say he can't walk comfortably on all fours because of an injured paw or leg. He's missing part of his front right leg and has an injured left front paw; one bear expert says Pedals most likely was hit by a car.

When first spotted last summer, people wanted Pedals transferred to a orphan wildlife center, but the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Agency's Division of Fish and Wildlife refused the request -- even though $28,000 was raised via GoFundMe to relocate the bear -- saying he would do better in his natural habitat. Agency spokesperson Lawrence Hajna told they'll keep an eye on Pedals and will step in if the beloved black bear's condition deteriorates. "We expect him to make it through this winter. The bear has an indomitable spirit," Hajna said.


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