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Bear walking upright: New Jersey bear video is no hoax, say experts

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The story of a bear walking upright is making headlines in the UK. The headline in the Daily Mail blared, "Trying to fit in? Bear walks upright on its back legs through New Jersey neighborhood."

A lot of folks are wondering if the video is an Internet hoax, that it is not a real bear but a person in a bear suit. But many people in the area have said that they also saw the same bear in the area that morning.

“Although bears are known to walk on their back legs, Mr Bohman suspects that the bear he saw was forced to move that way because of an injury,” The Daily Mail reported.

The consensus among experts who looked at the video is that the it is real and that the black bear may be walking upright because it is injured.

The man who posted the video in YouTube, Ian Bohman, video included the caption: “This bear was seen at 5:50am on 8/4/14 in Jefferson Township, NJ.”

The bear checked out the trash around the home, as bears often do when the encroach on human territory, then tiptoed to the house and eventually hung out by the shed near the house.

Wildlife authorities told NJ.com that the bear is real and injured and should be left alone.

“The black bear has an injury to both front legs, including its paws and possibly an elbow," Tracy Leaver, the executive director of the Woodlands Wildlife Refuge told the paper.

Black bear biologist with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, Kelcey Burguess, said the bear most likely "got hit by a car."

Burguess added that the bear will likely make a full recovery.

"He's exhibiting signs of healing and becoming more mobile. He's going to be just fine,"Burguess said.

New Jersey wildlife officials say they will let the bear heal on its own and will not try to capture it or interfere with his natural healing process.

"As for the residents in the area, they are the best source of information, Burguess said. "We ask the residents to let us know how things are going, they live in the area. They can tell us more than anything."

Anyone with pictures or videos of the bear is asked to post them on the Woodlands Wildlife Refuge Facebook page. Residents can also call 908-730-8300, or send an email to wildlife_rehab@yahoo.com.

tracy Leaver, the executive director of the Woodlands Wildlife Refuge.said that if people are going to observe him, they need to do it at a distance and to not approach the bear

"The attention is causing more stress for him," Leaver said. "Any observation has to come from a safe distance."

The worst thing someone can do in this situation is feed the bear or leave food out for him, Leaver said. She said that could cause it to become a "problem bear" if he gets used to having food provided to him, she said.

Leaver said residents started feeding a cub with similar injuries and its family. The mother bear had to be shot to death because she eventually rummaged through someone's house.

Despite what wildlife experts have said, many still think the video of the bear walking upright is an Internet hoax. What do you think? Leave you comments below.

Daily Mail readers were divided on the authenticity of the video.

Suze wrote, "Now I'm not sure about this one. The 'bear' does seem to drop down on all fours occasionally throughout the filming quite naturally . I wonder if it could be a tame bear, someone's pet let loose? Circus bear?"

Clara-Clara was skeptical, "It's obviously a human in costume. The body language is not that of a bear - even if it could walk on back legs."

A reader from Australia, Iridium Halo,wrote, "While I can't speak to the veracity of this particular series of shots, bears most certainly can walk on 2 legs for short distances."

But a skeptical reader from Australia, Poppy Donnegan, wrote, "So obviously someone in a suit, pathetic. Worse than the bigfoot videos."

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