Pedals, the disabled, tall-walking black bear whose two-year trudge through suburban North Jersey made him an Internet sensation, has been killed in the state’s first bow hunt in four decades by Thomas McCreary. The state Division of Fish and Wildlife confirmed late Friday that it had pictures of an injured bear that was brought into the Green Pond check station in Rockaway earlier this week.
“There are pictures of a bear with injured limbs that was brought into the station,” said Bob Considine, a spokesman for the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Pedals had never been tagged by Fish and Wildlife, which makes a positive identification more difficult. But the division’s brief statement on the controversy came close to confirming what the Facebook group that made the bear famous had been saying since mid-week.
“PEDALS IS DEAD,” said a statement that was posted to the Pedals the Injured Biped Bear page on Facebook on Friday morning. “The hunter who has wanted him dead for nearly 3 years had the satisfaction of putting an arrow through him, bragging at the [check] station.”
The statement was posted by Lisa Rose-Rublack, a Bloomingdale resident who led a campaign that raised more than $20,000 to relocate the bear to an enclosed sanctuary in upstate New York. “The very place where they weighed him, examined his legs, confirmed it was ‘the bi-pedal,’Ÿ” she wrote. “Where there were two biologists on hand taking many, many pictures.”
Pedals was frequently filmed as he wandered on two legs through Oak Ridge and Rockaway. The Facebook page that Sabrina Pugsley of Oak Ridge started made Pedals a cyber-star, but he now appears to be a casualty of New Jersey’s first bow hunt in more than 40 years.
“I’m hoping he’s not the one, but there’s a strong possibility that he is the one,” said Eleanor Hoffman, a spokeswoman for the Bear Education and Resource Group, which opposes the hunt.
Considine said Fish and Wildlife biologists did take pictures as bears were brought into the Rockaway check station on Monday.
“We believe there were indeed photos taken at the Green Pond station by our biologists, which does happen [on] occasion at weigh in stations,” he said. “We’re tracking down how many photos there are and when they were taken. Whatever we have, we’ll look to distribute them next week, after the six-day bear hunt is over. Hopefully Monday.”
Reached by email, Rose-Rublack said eyewitnesses who were at the Rockaway check station on Monday evening said a hunter bragged about killing Pedals. But she refused to disclose the names of the eyewitnesses.
“We told them we wouldn’t give names and we won’t,” she said.
Her statement also suggests that someone called radio station New Jersey 101.5 pledging to kill Pedals — but the station has no record of receiving a call like that.
“We’ve only been reporting the story,” said Dan Alexander, a news writer who has covered the Pedals saga for the station. “We’ve talked to our producers and our hosts, and we haven’t had anyone on the air saying they were responsible for the death.”
Rose-Rublack said she called the radio station as well.
“Yes, they told me they can’t find anything,” she said. “We saw a couple of [online] posts when it aired on Tuesday. We don’t record everything but I sure wish we snapped a pic of that post.”
Rose-Rublack said she was certain that Pedals was dead. “Ask the DEP who their paid biologists were on the scene that day,” she said. “We pay them an awful lot of money. I would think they can tell a bipedal bear just from what they know of him.
“Pedals is dead,” she added. “Can’t bring him back. We can only move forward.”
Fears that Pedals has been killed reached a fever pitch just as the bear hunt was drawing to a close. The hunt ends today; as of sunrise Friday, 432 bears had been killed.
As always, the bear hunt pitted hunters against animal lovers. The hunt was due to close with Pedals’ fate still uncertain.
Pedals’ supporters could barely contain their grief in online postings. “Let’s go hunting after this idiot that goes after this helpless bear. Really,” Ana Urena posted in a message to the Facebook group.
“My heart is broken thinking of Pedals,” Lauren Luongo-Goetz wrote.
Hunters, meanwhile, stuck to their guns. “I’m sitting here in tears over Petals death,” a poster who calls himself Haskell_Hunter wrote on the NJ Woods and Water website. “Tears from laughing at all those comments. This is why I left Facebook never to go back. It’s group think at its worst.”
“Most antis are complete idiots, so this shouldn’t be news,” added a poster with the screen name newjerseyhunter, referring to opponents of the annual bear hunt.
State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, an ardent opponent of the bear hunt, took to Twitter late Friday afternoon. “Petals is dead humans can be so cruel,” he tweeted, misspelling the name of the bear.
Brags about being wildlife ‘ s worst nightmare.
Outrage at Thomas McCreary for murdering an innocent disabled bear; we always knew there was evil in the world this just shows the extent and this ranks at the top of the MOST EVIL SCALE:
He brags about killing other wildlife…..
I just sent a message to him. Let’s see if he answers.
I also just called the phone number listed for Thomas McCreary and it has already been changed or out of service.(732) 721-2508
Owner Name: MCCREARY, THOMAS F & JEANETTE
Street Address: 203 RIVERVIEW RD
City State: BRIDGEWATER, NJ
Zip Code: 08807
County District: BRIDGEWATER TWP
Melanie Blake I saw that he shared this post on his wall made by someone (Charlene Gill) to Rack EM up. with the comment “someone’s off their meds’. He fits this description.
“This won’t stay up for long because sociopaths are incapable of handling any kind of criticism directed towards them…..
There are places in the world where, if you have enough money, you can have sex with a child. It is legal in these places and it also has a price tag. The same goes for trophy hunting. Both are unethical, disgusting, senseless, self serving, exploitative and portends a serious psychological disorder. Deriving pleasure from harming another living being is universally repugnant. It is all about power, trying to compensate for some deep rooted feeling of inadequacy. Without empathy or compassion. Selfish personal gratification. Trophy hunters and child molesters share a very similar psyche.
Both have a warped sense of entitlement. Both attempt to justify their actions. Both destroy the lives of their victims. Both are concerned only with their own desires and will gratify them no matter the cost. They both have a sociopathic view of their place in this world.
I think everyone can agree that pedophiles are vile, evil creatures. Trophy hunters might be on a different page but they are definitely in the same book!”
Heather Jenkins Interesting, I just called and asked if he was the owner of the inn. The lady asked why I want to know. I told her I just wanted to know. She said I can’t talk to you, GOODBYE! I guess that answered my question. Her phone is going to be busy today.
Find great small businesses around the corner and across the country or become one of the…
Heather Jenkins She went into a panic when I asked her the question..cowards!
Christine Pomeranke Smith 732 721 1519
Murphys Shamrock Inn
Melissa Sackett Place looks like a dump from the outside…how fitting. It could become the next place where the hunter becomes the hunted.https://www.yelp.com/biz/murphys-shamrock-inn-south-amboy
Gail Zega That’s him! Didn’t know he had a business though! Oh GOODY!
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Melissa Sackett Here is a more recent pic of Thomas McCreary and his “enabler” , wife Jeanette. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209319390514682&set=a.1532055414244.75395.1020534024&type=3&theater
Susan Bush Conyac Ew, what woman would want that lowlife???!
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Valerie Ruby Miserable scumbag SOB. I hope karma gets him soon. Payback is a bitch you miserable sub human specimen.
Melissa Sackett Looks like he needs to hunt bear to gain some weight. He is disgusting inside and out.
Susan Bush Conyac Gross!
Katrina Garvin Shadix Ewww.
George D Rubin Fat piece of shit..
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Melissa Sackett By the comments, it does look like they own this “dive bar” in South Amboy https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10204870128685917&set=a.1532055414244.75395.1020534024&type=3&theater(but live in Elizabethtown)..
Kay Norton oh yeah he definitely looks like hes starving and needs to hunt to live. fat pos
Melissa Sackett That is an old pic…Look at the more recent ones…..he’s enormous and full of tats!
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Noelia Pasi Omg
Lisa Granger how do u know for sure?
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Lori Lépine the hunter becomes the hunted. I can’t say I feel a bit sorry for him.
Valkrye Brumby Yes and why should anyone feel the least bit sorry for him?. He has made his choices~ to choose death over life , ignorance over intelligence, destruction over preservation. He represents some of the things I find most loathsome in the human species ~ incapable of independent thought , lacks any empathy or compassion except perhaps to other humans he knows~ arrogant and unapologetic ~ equates masculinity with killing
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Lori Lépine I do assume everyone doing so is vegetarian!
Daniela Kohl He will hide and not answer because he is a coward like all these bear killers !!!
Melissa Sackett Nice place for a protest, you think? Lots of room in front and on both sides of the building! https://www.yelp.com/biz/murphys-shamrock-inn-south-amboy
Belle Oden This is the only way to stop this crap.. is we have to stick together and report. Post and voice our concerns
John Bell So PROUD of what this Neanderthal does.. he BOASTS by saying… he is WILDLIFES’ WORST NIGHTMARE!! This is the kind of breed of people Hunting fosters. The more killing the less desensitized they are to it! Well .. we have his address, don’t we?
Belle Oden replied · 9 Replies · 37 mins
Maria Machado Message sent. Let’s all leave a little piece
Melissa Sackett ohhhhhhhhhhhh…I can’t be that polite.
Maria Machado I usually expose them to their hypocrisy. They are big believers in religious BS, but love killing their God’s creation. I think this argument gets more in their brain than fighting them.
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Kai Justice Rivers Disgusting piece of shit!
Lisa Grossman NJ ACTIVISTS: after we are sure, looks like its time for a home demo. They are legal and extremely effective in exposing very bad people. You watch South Florida Smash HLS home demo videos or look on YouTube for them.
Maria Machado Murphys shamrock inn is the name of a bar they own
Dana Dillon GROSS and DISGUSTING
Joann Clarkson They are telling the readers not to comment on anti hunters comments because we will fight even harder and mess up their hunt for next year, that we will do our thing and go away.
Melissa Sackett where? But darn right the negative publicity from the killing of Pedals will mess up their hunt for next year. Who with any decency thinks it’s ok to kill a disabled bear that hasn’t caused any problems the entire time he lived in that area?
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Keri Smith He is one sick son of a bitch😡.
Valkrye Brumby Is there any place we can leave a comment that he will be able to see?
Marcia Blaha Katrina, I have been so sad for last couple days over Pedals being murdered. I wish people would leave unique, spec. needs wildlife alone. This McCreary guy is a real POS,, to kill a handicapped animal!!
Katrina Garvin Shadix AGREED! :'(
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Judy C Wright What a sick pile of 💩
Sue Wachtel McCreary is a sack of shit. Loser. Shooting a disabled bear is as low as scum can go.
Melissa Sackett Shooting a handicapped bear…..one with only two legs to get away…………there is a special place in hell for him but I really hope he experiences some hell here on earth before he dies.
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Fawn Avant It says on their site that they are the general managers of Murphy’s Shamrock Inn. Maybe it’s time for their patrons to see who they are spending money on to help him kill a defenseless bear!
Katrina Garvin Shadix We’ve blasted the FB page via ‘post a review’ option :)
Fawn Avant And it’s working. The restaurant went from a 4.5 rating to a 3 now and it was at 66 reviews and now it’s at 135. Good job, keep it going.
But he’s between a rock and a hard place…. if he didn’t do it , he doesn’t want to admit that because it will make him look like less of a badass hunter to hisTrophy Hunter Buddies–to which he’s bragged for 3 years about wanting to kill Pedals.
If he did do it, he doesn’t want to admit that either, because it will affect his business and his personal safety.
I’m curious to see how the coward will handle the onslaught of attacks.
OAK RIDGE, N.J. — The first time Greg Macgowan’s wife saw the bear near their home, the upper half of the animal’s body was obscured by a neighbor’s deck. “She said, ‘Come here — there’s a guy in a bear suit,’” he recalled.
It turned out to be a real bear, but one that differed from the typical backyard visitor searching for food or wishing to cool off in a pool. This one walked almost entirely upright.
Now, two summers later, many more residents in this largely rural swath of northern New Jersey have spotted the Garden State Sasquatch, a bipedal bear nicknamed Pedals, who has his own Facebook fan page. It has, of course, made him a global sensation.
With two maimed front legs, Pedals, an American black bear who displays remarkably good posture, manages to get around on his hind legs. His unusual condition has spawned coveted sightings and viral videos. “Pedals is my spirit animal,” one person wrote on Facebook.
“Division biologists note that, based on the video, the bear is active, appears healthy, a little larger than last year, and is thriving on its own having adapted to its condition,” the post said.
“The bear was able to find adequate food resources in an area of high bear density and to have successfully denned through at least the past two winters in its current condition,” the post said. “Therefore, there is no need for intervention at this time.”
It is unclear how the bear was injured. A former state wildlife biologist speculated in 2014, when the bear was first spotted, that it was hit by a car. But the bear may also have a congenital defect; in various videos, the right front leg appears truncated, while the left paw dangles.
“Other than the videos, we haven’t been able to get a close look at him,” said Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, adding that biologists did not see a need to perform an examination of the bear.
In an interview posted on YouTube last month, Tracy Leaver, the founder and executive director of Woodlands Wildlife Refuge in Alexandria Township, N.J., said the desire to help the bear was understandable, but misguided. She explained that he had clearly managed to find food and a den during successive winters, despite his limited mobility.
“That’s what wildlife does,” she said. “They survive. He’s over it. We’re not, as people. We want to reach in, we want to help, we want to fix him.”
“Life is wonderful for this animal right now,” she added. “There’s plenty of natural food. To take that bear out of that beautiful home range that he’s been living successfully in, and put him in an enclosure anywhere, would be like imprisoning him.”
Lisa Ragoobir, who lives here in Oak Ridge, was encouraged that the bear seemed to have put on weight. “This year he looks much healthier,” she said from her deck overlooking a meadow of cattails and milkweed, where the bear was seen strutting in June. “The first time I saw him, he was so skinny.”
Bears are frequent visitors to her property, she said. Recently, a sow with three cubs lingered in the vegetation about 100 feet from Mrs. Ragoobir’s back deck. She and her family take precautions, she said, just like everyone else in this corner of New Jersey, where bears are as common as wild turkey and deer are elsewhere.
Her children know, for example, to move to the elevated deck from the yard, especially when cubs are present. “I’m afraid of snakes more than the bears,” she said.
Mr. Macgowan, a database administrator and father of four here, first captured the bear in a grainy video in 2014, when Pedals crossed through his neighbor’s yard. This summer, his family watched as the bear collected berries from a swampy area behind his property and then shook some crab apples from a tree.
“He’s doing fine in the wild,” Mr. Macgowan said. “He just does it on two legs. I think nature is best left where it is.”
State officials, in the meantime, say that Pedals has helped put wildlife in New Jersey on the world map — a nice change of pace for a state known to carry a chip on its shoulder. “It’s very compelling,” Mr. Hajna said. “This is a very resilient bear. He’s really captured the attention and hearts of a lot of people.”