OAK RIDGE, NJ - It's a sad day for fans of 'Pedals' the black bear, famous from internet videos for his neighborhood strolls.
Now, Pedals is believed to have been killed in last week's massive black bear hunt in New Jersey, where 487 bears were hunted and killed over a five-day period.
"Right now, it's very upsetting," animal activist Lisa Rose-Rublack tearfully shared.
Pedals was famous for having a missing right paw and an injured left paw, though he peacefully roamed these Jersey neighborhoods for years.
A Go-Fund-Me campaign had been started to place the injured bear in an upstate animal sanctuary, but instead of getting a change of scenery....poor Pedals is feared to have been killed by a bow hunter's arrow.
"We know Pedals is dead," Rose-Rublack declared, after hearing from a group of hunters who participated in last week's hunt. "It's the ones that decided they had to hunt him-- the handicapped bear-- that was...you know."
Bow hunting was allowed last week for the first time in 40 years.
"This guy, Brad, he was looking for him for three years," Rose-Rublack revealed.
State officials say they can't conclusively identify Pedals among the bears killed since Pedals was never officially tagged.
But some local residents feel the bear population needs to be controlled through these hunts.
"I have to worry about people," Rockaway resident Phillip Bazydlo conveyed. "And when I walk my little guy around the block-- and I have a bear chase me, I think maybe they need to cut down the amount of bears."
Now, Pedals joins other famous viral animals that have met a tragic end, like 'Cecil the lion' and 'Harambe the gorilla.'
A Facebook post for Pedals says he "walks with angels now."
Rest in peace, Pedals.