By LIAM STACKOCT. 15, 2016
The New York Times
Pedals, a beloved American black bear who walked upright and strolled around the suburbs of New Jersey like a Hanna-Barbera cartoon come to life, was believed to have been killed by a hunter last week, animal welfare activists said. His age was not known.
Since 2014 residents of Rockaway Township have posted videos online of the bear strolling through their neighborhoods and backyards with admirable posture, his forepaws pulled close to his chest. Many commented that on first glance, Pedals resembled a man wearing a bear suit.
But it appears that local celebrity was not enough to save Pedals during the state’s five-day hunting season for black bears, which began on Monday and allowed hunters to kill bears with a bow and arrow for the first time since the 1960s. He was one of 487 bears killed by hunters in New Jersey last week.
It was unknown whether Pedals walked upright because his forepaws were injured or if he had been born with a congenital defect, but either way his supporters had organized into an online community to promote his well-being. On Friday, an administrator of a Facebook group dedicated to the bear posted an anguished statement for its more than 21,000 followers. It was tagged “feeling heartbroken.”
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