The Facebook page for New Jersey’s celebrity bear Pedals reports that the beloved black bear has been assassinated. Pedals rose to fame last October after video of him walking on two legs surfaced. It was revealed that Pedals, who was known in Oak Ridge as the “neighborhood miracle,” walked on hind legs due to having one injured and one missing front paw.

Sabrina Pugsley, who runs the Pedals The Injured Bipedal Bear Facebook pagetold NorthJersey.com that rumors about Pedals' assassination began Wednesday after someone claimed to be the hunter who killed him. Pugsley said she spoke to the hunter and believed the story. The Pedals The Injured Bipedal Bear page has almost 20,000 likes, a testament to the bear's popularity.  

However Pedals' death can’t be confirmed, according to New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection. They said there’s “no way of verifying the identity of any bear that has not been previously tagged or had a DNA sample previously taken.” The Department noted any reported of Pedals death have been based on “hearsay” posted on social media.

On Friday, Pedals’ page reported Pedals was 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,” the post read. “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 unnamed hunter reportedly brought Pedals to the Greenpond Station Monday.  

Amidst these reports, a Facebook page titled Pedals the Bear surfaced in which someone had been posting for months about plans to hunt Pedals. “I can't wait for the October hunt here in nj hopefully a HUNTER OR HUNTERS CAN put me out of YOUR misery,” read a post in late August. A status around the time read, “10/10/2016 is the execution date for PEDALS” with statuses following it counting down until the “execution date.”

A bill is currently up in New Jersey to stop legal black bear hunting.