Pedals, who roams Oak Ridge, New Jersey, walks upright due to injuries to his paws

By Amy Jamieson
Updated October 09, 2015 03:53 PM
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Pedals could have a new home for the holidays.

The black bear who roams Oak Ridge, New Jersey, and walks upright due to injuries to his paws, could move to a wildlife sanctuary for rehabilitation, ABC News reports, if New Jersey’s Division of Fish and Wildlife gives approval.

The move would be thanks in part to the more than $17,000 raised by his community and beyond via a GoFundMe page.

The animal — who is missing his right front paw and whose left paw is described as useless — has been roaming the town for almost a year and many citizens are concerned for his health, including resident Sabrina Pugsley, who filmed the video above.

“When he was first spotted last year, we were all hoping that it was a minor injury and that he would heal, but he’s still not OK,” Pugsley told ABC News. “You can see that walking upright is taking a toll on him. He can’t run, climb or defend himself or even eat properly.”

The Orphaned Wildlife Center of Otisville, New York, has taken an interest in Pedals and wants to rehabilitate the bear but needs the go ahead from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife for his transfer.

“We are humbled and deeply moved by the compassion that so many are showing for Pedals. The goal has been reached,” reads a message on the Orphaned Wildlife Center’s Facebook page. “We don’t feel this bear is of good enough weight going into winter, and we don’t feel that it is a normal or natural situation for him to be coming into residential communities like this. It is not a good situation for Pedals, or for the local community. We continue to hope that the response from F&W will be positive. We will keep you posted.”

According to ABC News, a press officer said Fish and Wildlife is “reviewing the situation” and added that the division’s biologists went to the town to evaluate Pedals, and they believe “the bear is doing fine.”

“All injured bears compensate in their own way to find food and survive and this bear is no exception,” the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife said in a statement given to ABC News. “Injured wild animals should be given every opportunity to survive on their own in the wild.”

To learn more about Pedals, visit his Facebook page.