No, it's not a scene from "Planet of the Bears." It's a viral video of a black bear in a Jefferson Township, New Jersey, neighborhood walking upright like a human. The eerie footage shows the animal casually strolling up on its two hind legs to a garbage can, looking in it (possibly for a cannoli), and then disappearing into the nearby trees. Is this footage real or what?
"We believe it's a real bear," Bob Considine, spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, told NBC News. "It's not common, but it's not impossible. It has happened before."
David Garshelis, a bear expert with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, seconded that opinion. "It appears to me that it is indeed a bear," he told NBC News, noting that "if it’s a fake, it’s a very good one." When bears walk upright like this, it's usually because their front paws are injured. From the footage, Garshelis said, the black bear looks like it could be suffering a partial amputation to its right front foot.
- Keith Wagstaff
First published August 7 2014, 2:17 PM