Pedals the bear healthy and walking upright

A woman displays a picture of a bear as she and other animal activists renewed their calls for officials to help ensure the welfare of a bear that walks upright. (File, AP)
A woman displays a picture of a bear as she and other animal activists renewed their calls for officials to help ensure the welfare of a bear that walks upright. (File, AP)

West Milford - New Jersey wildlife officials say there has 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 officials said that a resident saw Pedals in West Milford in the US a few days ago and said the bear appeared to be in good health. The caller estimated Pedals weighs roughly 160kg.

The bear first gained fame after it was spotted last year ambling around neighbourhoods and was caught on videos that were posted on social media and played on national television. Since then, animal activists have 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.

Supporters hope Pedals can be moved to a sanctuary in New York state, but New Jersey officials have said they won't allow the bear to be transported out of state. They have said they want to examine the bear before making any decisions about it and they don't plan to try to capture the animal.


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