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The possibly sad truth about the "magical" bipedal bear of New Jersey
August 10, 2014 6:12 PM   Subscribe

You may have seen stories about a magical bear in New Jersey who walks on its hind legs like a person (if not, here's a video and a second.) Sadly, this might be because it's front paw is injured, possibly "suffering a partial amputation." For another example of a bear making do with less, here is a three-legged bear walking on its hind legs at times.
posted by filthy light thief (25 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Someone needs to put those videos side-by-side with supposed Bigfoot footage.
posted by desjardins at 6:20 PM on August 10 [7 favorites]




:-(
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:39 PM on August 10 [6 favorites]


I've seen too many videos of animals doing something that looks "cute" to people but turn out to be signs of the animal being in distress. It's gotten to the point that if the animal & behavior are unfamiliar to me, I assume there's something wrong with it. I'm glad this one's being called out. We can be horrible stewards of this world we're a part of.
posted by scalefree at 6:46 PM on August 10 [12 favorites]


In case it isn't clear, "partial amputation" is a euphemism that means that its paw is hanging off by literal threads of soft tissue.

:(
posted by mrbigmuscles at 6:59 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]


Looks like the same bear in all of those videos.
posted by 3.2.3 at 7:12 PM on August 10


It's the same bear in the first two. The third was filmed (or at least uploaded) back in 2010. I'm not sure where it was record, but it doesn't look like New Jersey. I could be wrong.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:18 PM on August 10


So if I understand correctly... If we injure all bears in this way we can make them adorable? What do I have to do to get them to play whiskey jugs and banjos?
posted by pashdown at 8:22 PM on August 10 [4 favorites]


Bless the thousands of animals out there like this bear who suffer because of human foolishness. They deserve better than us at the helm.
posted by Hermione Granger at 8:25 PM on August 10 [2 favorites]


filthy light thief, that website is unbelievable. It deserves an fpp of its own.
posted by Literaryhero at 8:35 PM on August 10


These videos are actually just Chris Christie wandering naked after a three day bender. The bear thing is just a cover story to throw the press off.
posted by humanfont at 8:53 PM on August 10 [2 favorites]


Chris Christie wandering naked after a three day bender.

I'm not sure if their ranges overlap, but if he meets Rob Ford out there, and they figure out a way to reproduce, it could open up whole new branches of cryptozoology and political science.
posted by hap_hazard at 9:19 PM on August 10 [7 favorites]


This makes me think about the relationship between identifying a being as "cute" and how it neatly dovetails with recognizing that the beings so nominated are in some way "diminished".

I'm thinking, in particular, of Hello Kitty who has no mouth and baby animals of all kinds, including humans.

Poor bear.
posted by mistersquid at 9:35 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]


Animals learn to do all sorts of things out of necessity. We'll really be in trouble when the bears figure out that in the suburbs, even if they're able bodied they should walk upright so that from a distance, we won't notice they're bears.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 2:47 AM on August 11 [1 favorite]


In case it isn't clear, "partial amputation" is a euphemism that means that its paw is hanging off by literal threads of soft tissue.

Not so sure about that. In the second video on the Gothamist site, it looks like the bear's right front paw is cleanly amputated just below the elbow, and he holds his fully intact left paw with a kind of floppy limp wrist when he walks upright.

This actually makes me wonder, do animal hospitals treat and release amputee animals? That seems unlikely, but the alternative explanations are just as unlikely: That the bear was born without a right front paw, or that bears are such bad ass motherfuckers they can survive losing their forearms without bleeding to death or dying of infection.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 2:58 AM on August 11 [1 favorite]


I doubt that a rescue organization would release an animal into the wild they didn't think would survive. Here in AK, that bear would probably be put down. New Jersey may have more rescue options and fewer bears to fill them, so, who knows. I bet it's a recent injury. Otherwise, people would have seen it around. Sad to say but I would expect it to die of its injuries or lack of food.
posted by Foam Pants at 5:06 AM on August 11


:(

I'm going to go watch highlights of #bearcam until I feel better.
posted by fight or flight at 5:37 AM on August 11


If it wasn't injured and had been drawn by Gary Larson, the bear would be named 'Carl'.
posted by plinth at 5:58 AM on August 11


One of the things I learned in human osteology is that, when amputated and fleshless, the bones of a bear hand look very similar to the bones of a human hand, to the extent that people will find disembodied bear hands and call the police, afraid there is a human body wandering around without hands. I guess it is relatively common for bear hunters to chop off the hands of bears they get and leave them to decompose.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:20 AM on August 11


This is sadness. In one video, the bear drops down to three legs and obviously can't use his right front paw. Poor bear.
posted by Atreides at 6:27 AM on August 11


Well, I'll be darned. An upright bear just walking along like that looks very, very strange indeed.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:38 AM on August 11 [1 favorite]


In veterinary medicine, we often say that dogs and cats are born with "three legs and a spare," as amputation of one limb rarely seems to trouble them (there can be knock-on musculoskeletal issues down the road as a side effect of increased load, though). Don't know how that translates to ursine medicine, but perhaps whatever injury the bear suffered is no longer painful and he or she will not be too badly impacted by the handicap.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:44 AM on August 11 [1 favorite]


afraid there is a human body wandering around without hands

Afraid there's a what?
posted by Segundus at 6:58 AM on August 11


Literaryhero: filthy light thief, that website is unbelievable. It deserves an fpp of its own.

Oh, cryptozoology sites are a rabbit warrens, not mere rabbit holes.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:36 AM on August 11


Rock Steady: In veterinary medicine, we often say that dogs and cats are born with "three legs and a spare," as amputation of one limb rarely seems to trouble them

At first, I read that as "we often say that dogs and cats are born with three spare legs," and I thought you veterinary folks are a brutal bunch. Animals adapt in all sorts of crazy ways. There are even a couple examples of two-legged dogs that get around pretty well (Duncan Lou Who, the boxer, Faith, and Roo, the chihuahua).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:42 AM on August 11 [1 favorite]


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