Pedals, New Jersey's beloved upright-walking bear, was apparently murdered in cold blood last week during the state's extended black bear hunt season. Though initially officials were unable to confirm Pedals's demise, yesterday the state confirmed it believed Pedals was dead, and fans claim the hunter who took him down was a "murdering cowardly bastard" who long had it in for the bear.

Pedals was frequently caught on video roaming through Oak Ridge, and the New Jersey Department of Environment Protection admitted on Monday that the body of a black bear brought to the Green Pond check station in Rockaway last week was likely him. Though the DEP can't 100 percent confirm this, since they did not previously tag Pedals or take a DNA sample, they were able to mostly identify him by his missing right paw and mangled left one (hence all that upright-walking). “The injured paws and chest blaze of this particular adult bear brought to Green Pond appear to be consistent with the bear seen walking upright on several videos taken from North Jersey residents over the past two years,” Bob Considine, a spokesman for the department, told the Times.

Fans of Pedals have taken to Facebook to decry the unidentified hunter responsible for killing him (with a bow and arrow, no less). One writer posted that they "hope and pray that someone [is] hunting you," with another calling the hunter a "murdering cowardly bastard." The Post reports that the hunter in question had previously posted something to Pedals' now-removed official Facebook claiming he would go after the bear during the state's official black bear hunting season last week.

The hunter does have some defenders—one anonymous neighbor told the Post, "I think he made the comment on Facebook, but I think it was just a joke. He’s a very nice person. I don’t believe he killed that bear."

Either way, Pedals is dead, and all we have left are the memories. Now, will someone check on these bear babies for me?????