Bipedal Bear Makes 2nd Appearance, Appears Healthy

WEST MILFORD, N.J. (AP) -

New Jersey wildlife officials say there’s been a sighting of a bear that walks upright on its two hind legs, and has become a social media darling.

Fans of the bipedal bear nicknamed Pedals had grown concerned when the animal had not been seen for several weeks. Pedals apparently has an injured leg or paw that doesn’t allow it to walk comfortably on all fours, experts say.

But a resident saw Pedals in West Milford on Dec. 21 and said the bear appeared to be in good health.

The bear first gained fame after it was spotted last year ambling around neighborhoods. Since then, animal activists voiced concern that the bear’s health has declined and they fear it might not survive a harsh winter. They also doubt the bear can run, climb or defend itself, or even eat properly.

Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Hajna called the sighting “really encouraging.”

“By virtue of the fact that the bear hasn’t been seen for some time indicates to us that he has been out in the woods foraging.”