Pedals the amazing bipedal bear killed by hunter

Pedals the amazing bipedal bear killed by hunter

There’s sad news for bear lovers in New Jersey. Pedals, the completely bipedal bear that’s amazed residents in Northern New Jersey suburbs for two years, is most likely dead, killed by a bow hunter during this year’s fall bear hunt.

Hunters at a weigh station in Northern New Jersey reported that the body of a bear matching his description, with similarly injured paws, was brought in by a hunter, then studied and photographed by biologists on the scene. However, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife issued a statement clarifying that it’s impossible to definitively identify a bear that hasn’t been previously tagged or had a DNA sample previously taken. Still, the situation looks grim for the popular bear.

Bear hunting is completely legal in New Jersey, and since the species has no natural predators, and bear populations are rising, wildlife biologists believe hunting is necessary to keep the bear population in check. However, sometimes individual animals can capture the imagination, and the hearts, of ordinary people. Pedals was such a creature. Beloved by many, photographs and videos of Pedals walking completely upright, like a human being, have been circulating extensively on the internet for about two years.

Watch initial news report of Pedals waking upright (ABC News / Youtube):

The intrepid black bear apparently survived debilitating injuries, learning to walk for extended periods of time on his hind legs, which is beyond the ability of most bears. He was frequently seen passing through suburban neighborhoods, raiding trash cans for an easy meal. People liked him, and felt he was a non-threatening, gentle soul. Of course, bears are powerful animals, and potentially dangerous when thrust into close contact with human beings.

That said, Pedals was never known to harm or threaten anyone. Instead, he inspired fascination, respect, and love in most people who learned about his struggle, or caught a glimpse of him strolling through their neighborhoods and backyards. But clearly these positive feelings were not universal, since reports indicate that the hunter who allegedly killed Pedals had been trying to take the bear for the last two years—-Pedals was the intended target.

New Jersey residents rooting for the upright bear started a petition to have Pedals captured and transferred to a bear sanctuary, where he would have been protected from harm for the rest of his natural life. But the petition failed, so Pedals remained free, and subject to the dangers of the hunt, like all other wild black bears in New Jersey. As a general rule, wildlife experts try to minimize the amount of special treatment and human intervention extended to animals, like bears, in the wild. Since Pedals was getting along well on his own, despite his injuries, experts felt no intervention was warranted in his case.

While Pedal’s death was strictly by the book, and appears to be 100% within the bounds of the law, large numbers of ordinary citizens are undoubtedly expressing anger, outrage, and a strong sense of loss as they learn of the death of this unusual and popular creature.

Learn about the death of Pedals the bipedal bear (ABC News)


Photo: Sabrina Pugsley / ABC News


Important – Read Jane Goodall’s Petition: End Wildlife Trafficking

Jane Goodall's Petition: End Wildlife Trafficking

Visit Jane Goodall’s Petition to end wildlife trafficking, on She’s calling for the wildlife trafficking problem to be a priority for the international community to focus on. Many species are endangered and facing extinction in our modern world, and once they go extinct, there’s no return—-we lose them forever. Wildlife trafficking contributes to this threat, and even if animals aren’t killed outright, trafficking often leads to cruel treatment of animals for callous commercial reasons. This is a profound tragedy and a great threat to our planet’s ecosystem that we must strive to prevent.

Here’s the text of her petition for the members of Face Activities to read. Please visit her page on to support her efforts:


“Hello, my name is Jane Goodall, and I’m here to ask for your support to end wildlife trafficking. I spend about 300 days every year traveling and talking to people about how we can help animals, but I know the power of social media can connect far more people much more quickly than anyone could do on their own. Please help me end wildlife trafficking.

Greed and the desire for increasingly rare “trophies” have resulted in a boom in illegal wildlife trafficking. This is a gruesome trade that is rapidly pushing the earth’s endangered species toward extinction. I’m meeting with some of the top conservation leaders in the world this year, and urgently need your support to tell them you want wildlife trafficking to be a priority for the international community to focus on.

My colleagues and I at the Jane Goodall Institute have seen the horrific wounds that wildlife trafficking inflicts on its victims. As a conservation charity that works on the ground in a number of African nations and with incredible global partners, we know the slaughter of such incredible animals is cruel and indefensible. We have also seen the heroism and loss of life of Rangers who defend wildlife against poachers: we cannot let them die in vain.

At our Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center, we see apes who have been maimed by lethal snare traps, monkeys suffering from bullet wounds, and infant chimpanzees who have been pried from their mother after she was shot dead by poachers, her body headed for markets where people illegally purchase chimpanzee meat.

The chimpanzee infants who come to us are often gravely injured, severely ill and suffering from deep psychological wounds that may never heal. They, however, are the lucky ones. The infants who do not make it to Tchimpounga are often trafficked into the illegal exotic pet or entertainment trades, destined to lead short, lonely lives filled with pain and abuse.

This is not a simple issue, but one filled with examples of the intense pressures of poverty, lack of training in enforcement, governmental corruption, and the careless demand for wildlife products by global consumers.

The inhumane practice of invading a protected animals’ natural habitat to obtain “parts” based on this complicated global market demand by capturing and/or killing is destroying our world’s most precious species, and it needs to stop.

The facts reflect the urgency of this crisis:

  • 35,000 elephants a year are killed for ivory.
  • Poaching of rhinos went up 9,000% from 2007-2014.
  • 73 million sharks are killed each year for their fins.
  • A 2014 survey showed there may only be 3,200 wild tigers left in Asia.
  • 3,000 great apes (including chimpanzees) are illegally killed or stolen from the wild each year.

And these numbers may be estimates based on population sizes that don’t even exist – as there are fewer and fewer animals left to poach each year.

The Jane Goodall Institute has created the Jane’s Traffic Stop campaign, and I want you to be part of it. Our hope is that we will help stamp out wildlife trafficking for good by creating an enormous community of supporters on social media who will continue to hold key decision makers accountable in the fight against this violence.

I strongly believe that from majestic elephants to the smallest butterflies, threatened and endangered animals should be celebrated and left to live their lives … wild and free.

But no one person can do it alone. And we need support. This movement needs you!

So stand up to wildlife trafficking by signing this petition to show your support, and help me bring this message of hope to groups like the IUCN at the World Conservation Congress, the International Primatological Society at their biannual congress and CITES at the CoP17 meeting in South Africa this year.

We must tell the world that wild animals were not put on the earth to be hunted to extinction and sold off in pieces as trinkets and trophies. We also must not support the business of wildlife trafficking, and shop with a greater awareness to avoid buying illegal animal products or support companies that do. Each of us is only one voice in the fight to stop illegal wildlife trafficking, but if all of you as a collective join me and care enough to speak up, our message will be impossible to ignore.

I’ll be working closely with our partners to ensure the signatures on this petition add further pressure and momentum in this global movement to save wildlife. Sign this petition now, and join us in Jane’s Traffic Stop as we share additional actions and keep you up to date in the coming weeks and months.

Thank you.
-Dr. Jane Goodall”


Photo: By Jeekc – Self-published work by Jeekc, CC BY 2.5,