The famous upright bear is dead, but hopefully his death can prevent any future deaths at the hands of hunters.
Pedals the bear was a famous bipedal bear living in New Jersey who had a huge fan club on Facebook advocating for him. He was known for walking upright because of an old injury to his front paws and was beloved in the county where he spent most of his time. The group had raised $20,000 to go towards his relocation to a bear sanctuary.
Whenever Pedals would disappear for a few months, videos and photos documenting his reappearance would make local headlines and people would rejoice. It looks as though these happy moments will never occur again, as several reliable accounts have confirmed that Pedals was among the 549 bears killed in New Jersey’s bear hunt this year.
The hunt was brought back in 2010 after being suspended for 40 years, and hunters were given permission to use a bow and arrow in this cruel event, which was also extended several days. This is apparently the means with which Pedals was killed, and a former post confirmed this:
“Pedals is dead. The hunter who has wanted him dead for nearly 3 years had the satisfaction of putting an arrow through him, bragging at the station … where they weighed him, examined his legs, confirmed it was ‘the bi-pedal.'”
It’s horrifying to think that any animal would have to die in this way and that many humans enjoy inflicting this pain and collecting the body as their reward.New Jersey Senator Raymond Lesniak is not one of these people and he was already working on a bill to get the hunt banned before Pedals’ passing. He renamed the bill Pedals’ Law to commemorate him and inspire people to vote in favor of it. The bill passed the committee vote but is thought to be eventually vetoed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. If you want to urge the NJ government to approve this bill, you can sign the petition here.
The bill has the following aims written into it:
1. To end bear hunts for five years while a non-lethal bear control program is implemented.
2. To prohibit bear feeding and deer baiting in bear habitats.
3. To require bear resistance containers in bear habitat areas.
Biologist Marc Bekoff wrote in a photo essay about a similar hunt in Florida:
“These images, powerful as they are, remain a grossly inadequate means of communication… They do not record the cries of the victims as bullets or arrows entered their bodies – cries lost deep in the woods… They do not transmit the pain that was felt, the sense of confusion, panic, and fear in the moments before death – feelings that we, too, are capable of, but which we fail to acknowledge in our fellow animals. They do not record the fate or relay the emotions of orphaned cubs, left to fend for themselves many months before nature intended, grieving the loss of their mothers, and poorly prepared to meet the challenges of a human-dominated world that has set itself against [them]…”
Help to end the bear hunt by using your voice to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
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