Revisiting The Black Bear That Walked On Its Hind Legs, Sending New Jersey Neighborhoods Into A Panic

Black bears walking
Inside Edition

Remember the viral bear from the Chinese Zoo that everyone thought was a human in a costume from a couple of weeks ago?

Well, this New Jersey bear first “walked” so that the Chinese bear in the zoo could stand and be confused for a human in a bear suit. There’s a chance you remember this story, but there’s also a chance you completely missed out on it, which is why it’s worth covering it nine years later.

Authorities in New Jersey kept getting calls from residents who were reporting what they thought was a bear was wandering around upright in their neighborhood. The issue that really drove the phone calls was that the wild animal was walking around like a human on its hind legs, and not on all fours as a bear normally would.

Videos of the black bear walking around on its back legs with its front arms hanging uselessly were all over the national news when people first started to spot the bruin. Once officials were able to debunk theories that it was a person in a suit, or even some bear-looking-Bigfoot, they discovered that the bear was actually traversing upright because of severe injuries to its front paws.

As you’ll be able to see in the videos below, the bear walks along with its front arms tucked and unused. One of the bears paws is completely gone, while the other dangles and is unable to be utilized as well. Those setbacks didn’t stop the bear though, as it leaned on its survival instinct and decided to “figure things out” by walking upright.

You can see why the bear probably scared New Jersey residents at first. We just aren’t used to seeing blacks bears walk around like us, but people slowly started to come around on the bear. People in the community even went as far to name the black bear “Pedals,” which stemmed from the term bipedal, meaning to walk on two legs.

There was even a Facebook group that was organized called “Help Save Pedals: The Injured Bipedal Bear,” which aimed to have the bear captured and relocated to a sanctuary so that it could live out the rest of its days in peace. However, it seemed as though the black bear was making do with its situation, and walking up right allowed “Pedals” to check garbage cans with ease.

You can take a look at the piece that Inside Edition did on the bear nine years ago below:

When the bipedal bear was “sweeping the nation,” even Good Morning America was doing hard-hitting journalism about “Pedals.” The video below was checking back on videos they had talked about earlier in the week when they labeled the bear walking on its back legs as a mystery.

I could watch Pedals walk around New Jersey on its back legs all day:

You might be wondering if “Pedals” is still strolling around, and the answer to that is a very hesitant “possibly.” There were a number of stories in 2016 claiming that a New Jersey hunter might have killed the upright walking bear.

Personally, I refuse to believe that. That’s not how “Pedals” would go out. Bears have an average lifespan of 10 years, and can even live as long as 30 years. So I bet that the New Jersey walking bear wandered off to a very safe, remote location and is living out a very long, happy life. Don’t try to tell me otherwise…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock