It Looks Like New Jersey’s Famous Walking Bear Was Killed In First Bow Hunt In More Than 40 Years

It is looking more likely that Pedals, a beloved bear whose leg injuries gave him a distinctive walk and brought him fans from all over the world, has been killed by a hunter in New Jersey.

NorthJersey.com reports that a state agency “came close to confirming” Pedals’ death, which was earlier announced on one of the Facebook pages dedicated to the bear.

“There are pictures of a bear with injured limbs that was brought into the station,” Bob Considine, a spokesman for the Division of Fish and Wildlife, said in a statement. Considine told The New York Times the photos will be released to the public.

“I’m hoping he’s not the one, but there’s a strong possibility that he is the one,” Eleanor Hoffman, a spokeswoman for the anti-hunt Bear Education and Resource Group, said to NorthJersey.com.

This year’s bear hunt went on from October 10-15. Hunters were allowed to kill two bears per permit.

For the first three days, hunters could only kill bears using bows; for the last, either bows or muzzle-loading guns.

Pedals is thought to have been killed on Monday by a bow hunter. This was the first time in four decades New Jersey allowed bear-hunting with bows.

Hunters killed 487 bears during this year’s six-day hunt.

More than 300,000 people signed a petition, asking for Pedals to be sent to a sanctuary. Some $25,000 was raised toward that effort, which was unsuccessful.

local ABC affiliate gave the reason, which now seems grossly ironic, why state wildlife officials rejected this plan: “They fear that moving Pedals could cause him more harm.”

 

 

Arin Greenwood

Arin Greenwood is an animal writer based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Previously, she was animal welfare editor at The Huffington Post. Arin is a former lawyer (J.D. from Columbia Law School, member of the New York Bar), life long animal lover, pit bull advocate, and devoted fan of cats and dogs who run for public office. Her first novel, Tropical Depression -- based on her five-odd, sometimes very odd, years living on a small island near Guam -- was published by teeny indie publisher Back Porch Books in 2011. Her second book, a comic young adult mystery called Save The Enemy, was published by Soho Teen in November 2013. Hello From Dog Island!, Arin's third book, will be published by Soho Teen in 2018. Know a shelter with a great, innovative program? Have another animal story to share? Get in touch at aringreenwood@gmail.com!