WEST MILFORD, N.J. — A sighting in West Milford has confirmed that Pedals, a bear who walks on two feet, is surviving hunting season, a state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman said.
Authorities received a call on Pedals' whereabouts on Dec. 21. He seemed to be doing well, DEP spokesman Larry Hajna said.
Pedals walks upright because one front paw is missing and the other is injured. In recent months, people attempted to relocate him to a wildlife center .
However, Hajna said the bear's current condition -- including an approximate weight of about 350 pounds -- was encouraging.
"I know a lot of people around the world have been following the bear's travels and were very concerned he wouldn't make it through the denning season," he told Daily Voice. "As we've been saying all along, injured animals are very adaptable, and this bear had adapted to his injuries."
Bloomingdale resident Lisa Rose-Rublack started a petition with more than 54,000 signatures to move Pedals to a sanctuary in New York. The state did not provide permission to move the bear, though, and Rose-Rublack said they are in a holding pattern.
"We're happy that he's safe from the hunt and we're just hoping he makes it through the winter," she said.
The bear hunt ended Dec. 19.
Hajna said it's been the state's stance to let Pedals live in the wild as long as his condition was good.