NEW JERSEY (WITI) — What looks like a bear walking upright may have some New Jersey residents thinking they witnessed an absurdly human-like bruin — but one expert in the state isn’t buying it.
According to FOX6’s sister station, PIX11 in New York says Larry Ragonese — a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection says he’s watched footage posted to YouTube of the creature — and says it looks “sketchy” at best.
Ragonese says it is hard to tell “if it’s a real bear, or if it’s Photoshopped or a person in a costume.”
Videos show what appears to be a bipedal bruin (brown bear) walking on its hind legs as it wanders through New Jersey neighborhoods.
A voice in one video – echoed by comments below the YouTube posts – hypothesizes that the bear’s front paw, which looks as though it’s flopped in front, is injured thus necessitating it using its uninjured back legs to get around.
But Ragonese said that’s a stretch.
While it’s true that bears can stand up on their hind legs and that each bruin’s ability differs (one bear may be able to travel just a few feet walking upright, while another could go for a few yards), Ragonese said the creature in the video looks to be walking too erect and too well.
The videos have garnered tens of thousands of views — but Rangonese is warning everyone to be careful about treating this footage as though it were real.
CLICK HERE for more on this story via PIX11.