Beloved black bear named Pedals ‘killed during New Jersey hunting season’

Pedals is a bi-pedal bear who walks upright due to injuries sustained to his front legs 

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The Independent US

Pedals is a bi-pedal bear who walks upright due to injuries sustained to his front legs

A black bear in New Jersey, known locally as ‘Pedals’ due to the animal walking upright on his hind legs, has reportedly been killed during the state’s extended hunting season.

Pedals the bear was known among locals in Rockaway Township of New Jersey and was captured many times on video strolling through the suburbs, quickly becoming an internet sensation.

The bear walked upright due to injuries on his front legs – his front right paw was missing and his front left paw was injured.

According to reports by animal rights activists, Pedals was killed during the extended hunting season last week.

A Facebook page called ‘Pedals the injured Bipedal Bear,’ posted a statement on Friday that read: “The hunter who has wanted him dead for nearly three years had the satisfaction of putting an arrow through him, bragging at the station. The very place where they weighed him, examined his legs, confirmed it was ‘the bi-pedal’. Where there were two biologists on hand taking many, many pictures,” ABC7NY reported. The Facebook page has since been removed or taken down.

Reports of the bear’s death remain unconfirmed, however. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Agency's Division of Fish and Wildlife said in a statement that while it appreciates the recent concern for the bear that has been shown since reports of its death, it has “no way of verifying the identity of any bear that has not been previously tagged or had a DNA sample previously taken”.

The statement continued: “During this current bear hunt period, and in previous bear seasons, there have been multiple bears observed at different check stations with injured or missing limbs.

“Upon arrival to check stations, bears are weighed and measured around the head. DNA samples are taken and a tooth is extracted to determine the bear's age. But without any prior scientific data taken from a bear, it is not possible to verify the identity of a bear that has been harvested.”

Previous reports about Pedals from when he was discovered by locals in 2014 stated the bear was being monitored by state officials and was not a danger to people, and there had been no plans to capture and re-locate him, according to ABC News. 

Earlier this year locals were pleased to spot the black bear on a woodland trail near the golf course in Oak Ridge after he had not been seen since the previous Christmas, causing the Fish and Wildlife division to ask the public to help with any sightings of him, reported.