Pedals the bear walks upright through a New Jersey neighborhood. Screenshot: Joey Esposito/Facebook
OAK RIDGE, N.J., June 23 (UPI) -- Pedals the famous bipedal bear has reemerged in a New Jersey neighborhood after a long lull in sightings led to fears he hadn't survived the winter.
Joey Esposito posted a video to Facebook showing Pedals walking on his hind legs through an Oak Ridge neighborhood Monday morning.
The video shows Pedals wandering around neighboring yards while walking on his back legs due to his missing right front paw and injured left front paw.
Esposito told ABC News that Pedals appeared to be "pretty healthy."
"He didn't seem like he was going to harm anyone," Esposito said. "I didn't want to get too close, but he actually looked pretty good."
Pedals had previously been last spotted Dec. 21 in West Milford and his long absence from the public eye led to fears that he hadn't survived the winter. Lawrence Hajna, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Agency's Division of Fish and Wildlife, had recently asked the public for help locating Pedals after the lack of springtime sightings.
The Division of Fish and Wildlife has thus far declined to have Pedals moved to a sanctuary, with officials saying the bear is doing well in the wild. They said the decision would be revisited if Pedals is seen to struggle or fall ill.
Hajna said officials expect Pedals will continue to thrive in the wild.
"We expect him to make it through this winter. The bear has an indomitable spirit," he told NJ.com.