Outrage in N.J. after hunt appears to have killed Pedals the bear

This still from a summertime cellphone video shows Pedals, who is unable to walk on all four because of injuries. (Photo courtesy: Ron Cronk)

NEW JERSEY (CBS News) – There is outrage in the suburbs of northern New Jersey, which is black bear country.

This past week, there was a controversial bow-and-arrow bear hunt — which appears to have taken the life of a well-known bear nicknamed Pedals — because of his upright pedestrian walk.

Pedals the black bear first became an internet sensation two years ago.

He could be seen wandering, almost human-like, through northern New Jersey neighborhoods.

He had injuries to his paws, so wildlife experts believed he spent very little time on all fours.

Pedals was often captured on camera. But animal rights activists say, a more violent shot likely ended his life — one with a bow and arrow — during last week’s black bear hunt.

Chris Fox often saw him in the neighborhood.

“Every time I think about it it makes me sick to my stomach. It’s horrible,” he said. “Because he’s an innocent bear minding his own business, just searching for food. Never got into trouble, never harmed anybody and you have this idiot who tracked him to hunt him, to kill him.”

People also expressed their outrage on a Facebook page dedicated to Pedals.

Debbie Mitchell writes: This is just cruel. Someone hunting a handicapped bear that people enjoyed seeing! What is wrong with people?

Some are making death threats against whoever may have killed the bear. A hunter has not been named.

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife officials said they may never be able to make a positive identification on the bear believed to be Pedals — because he had never been tagged by the agency,

A petition to stop the New Jersey black bear hunt had more than 24,000 signatures.

This was the first legal bow-and-arrow hunt in New Jersey in four decades.

More than 430 bears were killed by the end of the hunt on Saturday. There  will be another bear hunt here in early December.

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