Pedals, the American black bear who found fame on the internet after video captured him strolling around on his hind legs in New Jersey, is believed to have been shot by a hunter last week.
Residents of Rockaway Township in New Jersey have posted clips of Pedals — who perambulated entirely on his hind legs due to injuries to his forepaws — since 2014 and even raised money to help him.
Fame, however, couldn’t save him from New Jersey’s five-day hunting season for black bears, and he was believed to be one of the 487 bears killed in the state last week. (Last week was the first time hunters have been allowed to bow-hunt black bears since the 1960s.)
Friday, the administrator of a Facebook group dedicated to the bear posted a statement saying that Pedals was “at peace now because his beautiful soul left his body when he was killed.”
Bob Considine, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection, told The New York Times that a dead bear with “visible injuries” had been brought into a check station, but as Pedals had never been tagged or had a DNA sample taken, there was no way to make a positive ID. (It was never determined whether Pedals’ forepaws came to the present state because of a birth defect or an injury that occurred later in life.) Considine said the Department would be releasing pictures of the bear early this week.