'Pedals' the walking bear reported killed during hunt in New Jersey

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, October 16, 2016
'Pedals' the bear reported killed during hunt in New Jersey
N.J. Burkett reports the famous walking bear seen in New Jersey neighborhoods may have been killed in the state's annual bear hunt.

OAK RIDGE, New Jersey -- There are unconfirmed reports that "Pedals" the bear, which became an Internet sensation when filmed walking upright on its hind legs around New Jersey neighborhoods, was killed during the state's extended hunting season this week.

A Facebook page dedicated to "Pedals the injured Bipedal Bear" reports that a hunter brought the dead bear to the Green Pond check station in Rockaway on Monday evening.

"The hunter who has wanted him dead for nearly 3 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," the post read.

After receiving multiple requests for information about the status of Pedals, the Department of Environmental Protection issued a statement to say it has no way to identify the bear because it had not been tagged nor a DNA sample taken.

"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," the statement read.

Pedals has been seen walking upright in New Jersey since the summer of 2014. Pedals became famous after many residents of Oak Ridge and other communities posted video of a bear roaming around their yards and neighborhoods walking upright on its hind legs. The human-like walk made some people even think it was a human in a bear costume.

Authorities have said the bear walks upright because it is missing part of its front right leg and an injured front left paw. It's believed Pedals was likely hit by a car at some point.

The bear was last spotted over the summer when Joey Esposito posted this video to the Facebook page for "Pedals The Injured Bipedal Bear"

Esposito said he shot the video on June 20, 2016.