Beloved Bipedal Bear Named Pedals Believed Killed By Hunter

A beloved black bear that won hearts after he was spotted walking around New Jersey on two legs, earning him the name Pedals, is believed to have been killed by a bow hunter.

A Facebook page created for the famous bear, which walked on his hind legs because of injuries to his front paws, announced Pedals’ death Friday. It cited witnesses at a designated black bear check station that allegedly saw the bear’s body and also heard the hunter bragging about taking down the popular animal.

“The hunter who has wanted him dead for nearly 3 years had the satisfaction of putting an arrow through him, bragging at the station,” read the Facebook post, which sparked anger and sadness among some of the page’s 22,000 fans.

In a statement, the state’s Division of Fish and Wildlife confirmed that a black bear was brought into the station earlier this week, but said they have been unable to confirm whether it was Pedals since the bear was never tagged.

“There are pictures of a bear with injured limbs that was brought into the station,” Bob Considine, a spokesman for the Division of Fish and Wildlife, described the animal to

Pedals the bear was seen strolling around a New Jersey neighborhood back in June.

Lisa Rose-Rublack, who created the bear’s Facebook page, had raised more than $22,000 to move the bear to a sanctuary in upstate New York. Her fundraiser followed concerns that the disabled bear wouldn’t be able to survive winter.

Incredibly, Pedals was filmed walking around a neighborhood in Oakridge, New Jersey, in June.

Despite the funds raised, the bear’s relocation was never approved by the state’s Department of Wildlife, Rose-Rublack told The New York Daily News.

“We raised all the money, we had a place for him to go,” she said. The money they collected will instead be used to “do some good in his memory.”

A second Facebook post on Saturday went on to say that the writer doesn’t know the name of the hunter and that there is “no credible proof of who did it.”

It asked that the public refrain from accusing specific individuals and making threats.

“As awful as it is that someone killed Pedals as NJDFW has stated he was fair game, no laws were broken. We tried to get him protection to no avail. Please I beg you to stop all of this, you do not have any proof of who killed him,” the post read.

The state’s black bear hunting season ended on Saturday. A total of 549 bears were killed over the six-day period, according to the state’s online records.

The hunt is designed to maintain the bear populations and enhance public safety, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Video of hunter killing Alberta bear with spear draws death threats

Video of hunter killing Alberta bear with spear draws death threats; provincial ban coming

Alberta to Ban Spear Hunting After Bear Video Sparks Outrage

The Alberta provincial government plans to ban the practice of spearing wildlife after a video posted online showing an American killing a black bear with a spear sparked outrage.

The video was posted in June on the YouTube account of Josh Bowmar, who runs an Ohio-based fitness company, and shows him killing the bear on a hunt in northern Alberta. By the time it was removed from public view on Monday it had garnered more than 208,000 views.

The 13-minute video shows Bowmar launching a massive spear — with a camera attached — at a bear from 11 to 14 meters (36 to 46 feet) away and captures his jubilant reaction when the animal is hit.

“I just speared a bear!” Bowmar says on the video. “He’s going down. I drilled him perfect … I smoked him.”

He later says he got “mad penetration. That’s a dead bear.”

Commenters on YouTube were livid. At least one comment threatened to do to the hunter what he did to the bear. Twitter users called the bear’s killing sick, inhumane, shameful and disgusting.

Alberta’s Environment and Parks department issued a statement, calling the spear hunting an “archaic” practice. Spear hunting is already illegal in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province.

“Work is well underway to update Alberta’s hunting regulations. We will introduce a ban on spear hunting this fall as part of those updated regulations,” a spokesman said in an emailed statement. “‘In the meantime, we have asked Fish and Wildlife officers to investigate this incident to determine if charges are warranted under existing laws.”

Wayne Pacelle, CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, welcomed Alberta’s plans to strengthen the law to ban spear hunting.

“Our attitudes toward animals evolve for the better, and there is more antipathy for acts of cruelty like the one from Alberta,” said Pacelle. “At one time, cockfighting and dogfighting were legal. Then we got our act together as a society and forbade these practices as depraved, archaic and inhumane.”



Spare, Don’t Spear, That Bear


Black Bear© Amit Patel

The video of Ohio javelin champion Josh Bowmar throwing a heavy spear into a black bear in Alberta, Canada predictably went viral. The bear had been attracted to food that had been provided. While the animal nervously backed off a few times (as bears tend to avoid humans: the most deadly species on the planet), he finally trusted the humans nearby.

Big mistake. Bowmar threw the spear, which had a GoPro camera attached to it, assuring a “spear’s eye” view to augment the video taken by his friend.”He’s going down,” exalts Bowmar, breaking into a happy dance. “I drilled him perfect. That was the longest throw I thought I could ever make. I just did something I don’t think anybody in the entire world has ever done and that was spear a bear on the ground on film. And, I smoked him.”

Bowmar joyously finds the spear, which fell out of the fleeing bear. “Oh yeah, I got mad penetration,” he says. “These things are absolute lethal killing machines.”

Now, Bowmar joins a list of infamous hunters, including Walter Palmer, the dentist who killed Cecil the lion; Rebecca Francis, who proudly posed with the corpse of a giraffe she had just killed; Donald Trump’s sons, who posed with the bodies of various animal victims; and so many others whose capers, viewed via the internet, triggered widespread vitriol.

Bowmar seems to believe, against all evidence, that what he did was “humane.” He displays a total lack of empathy with his victim. The bear reportedly ran some 60 yards, with the spear and some internal organs falling out along the way, before collapsing. His body wasn’t found until the following morning.

This callous behavior comes at a cost to the rest of us—including innocent animals who, like you and me, just want to live out their lives.

The best we can do is hope for laws to protect us. Alberta now plans to ban bear spearing, but similarly cruel hunting practices are still legal… and they still appeal to a small percentage in our midst.

Animal rights activists upset over man killing bear with a spear



An American who carried out a hunt in Canada is facing the wrath of animal rights activists after he posted a video capturing the kill on YouTube.

Josh Bowmar, who lives in Ohio, used a spear to slay a black bear, which is legal in Canada. Bowmar was immediately met with criticism after posting the video, but he was also quick to fire right back.

Masha Kalinina, of Humane Society International, said the animal was “heartlessly slaughtered for fun.”

“No-one could argue there is any skill involved here, no exhibition of hunting prowess, and certainly this has nothing to do with conservation as trophy hunters often argue,” Kalinina added. “This is pure selfish blood lust, a desire for a thrill and a trophy at the expense of an innocent life.”

Bowmar, however, ensured that the bear, which he described as “extremely nutritious,” was not wasted in any way. Likewise, Bowmar said those scoffing at his hunt should be ashamed of themselves for “for trying to kill a heritage that has existed for over a million years.”

Not only that, Bowmar detailed the skill involved in such a hunt, despite Kalinina’s claim that there was none involved.

[ The Mirror ]

B.C. Black Bear
ants-1.3719678> Be bear aware: Pick ripe fruits from trees or pay a fine,
says City of Coquitlam to property owners

A 10-year-old girl is in hospital with critical injuries after a bear attack
in Port Coquitlam, B.C., Saturday.

Conservation Office inspector Murray Smith said the girl was attacked by a
female black bear with her cub.

The incident took place near Shaughnessy Street and Lincoln Avenue at about
5 p.m. PT., according to B.C. Ambulance, not far from a popular trail along
the Coquitlam River that leads to a nearby watershed and wilderness area.

Smith said conservation officers killed the sow when they found her.

“The bear wouldn’t leave the location with a lot of human presence at that
spot, and so the bear was destroyed,” he said.

The cub is still at large, he said, and people are being asked to stay away
from the area for the time being.

Smith said the officers are looking into the bear and cub’s conflict history
to see if they had exhibited a loss of fear of humans. Depending on what
they discover, the cub may also be killed.

He said it wasn’t yet clear what had provoked the attack.

“These situations are very challenging for everyone involved,” he said. “We
want to make sure that we keep bears wild and we don’t let them get too
comfortable in our communities.”

He reminded residents in the area to remove attractants like garbage and
fruit from trees.

ants-1.3719678> Coquitlam ‘bears’ down on residents who leave out wildlife


Protect Wolves and Bears on National Refuges

Protect Wolves and Bears on National Refuges

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently proposed a new rule sharply restricting certain controversial wolf and other predator control measures on 77 million acres of federal wildlife refuges in Alaska – measures promoted by Alaska state wildlife managers like:

  • Killing wolves and coyotes (including pups) during the animals’ denning season.
  • Taking black bears with artificial light at den sites.
  • Taking brown or black bears attracted to bait.
  • Targeting bears with snares, traps, etc.
  • Using dogs in black bear hunts. State law currently prohibits using dogs to hunt big game, with an exception for black bears. The park service will no longer honor this exception on national preserves.
  • Shooting swimming caribou, a practice primarily used in the Noatak National Preserve in Northwest Alaska.

Federal public hearings are now underway across Alaska to gather public input prior to adopting the final rule. The draft rule, published in the Federal Register, aligns with a similar National Park Service rule that was finalized in October and would formally establish a goal of “biodiversity as the guiding principle of federal management of wildlife refuges.”

That stands in contrast to the goal of the Alaska Board of Game, which is to ensure maximum sustained populations for hunting. Increasingly over the last decade, the Game Board and the federal agencies have clashed over managing predators, largely over the idea that the state manages for “abundance” of moose and caribou. Under state law, the Board of Game focuses on sustaining populations of moose, caribou and deer for hunting and consumption.

The Wolf Conservation Center commends the USFWS for following the law, for managing the refuges as Congress intended, and for excluding extreme measures that are in direct conflict with preserving biological integrity, natural diversity and environmental health. To do anything less would violate public trust in the agency responsible for managing the national wildlife refuges — “special places that belong to all of us.”

The USFWS is accepting until March 8th. Comments can be submitted online through the Federal Register [using docket number FWS-R7-NWRS-2014-0005]

Please Comment Now

Florida plans second bear hunt

[WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT] Hunter kills bear caught on video

The most controversial hunt in Florida in a generation ended Sunday, but the disputes over the state’s decision to reopen bear hunting are far from over.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says it plans to repeat the hunt next year, a plan certain to spark intense debate.

The commission is pursuing criminal cases against several hunters suspected of baiting, which involves setting out food to attract the bears, as well as two cases of bears killed under the 100-pound minimum. Hunters are discussing lawsuits against hunt opponents who threatened and harassed them over the Internet. A planned rescue of orphaned cubs has been called off.

The wildlife commission ended the hunt after only two days, as the tally of dead bears hit 298, near the statewide quota of 320. In the eastern Panhandle, hunters killed 112 bears, nearly triple the quota of 40.

“That is a disaster by anyone’s count,” said Frank Jackalone, senior organizing manager for the Sierra Club of Florida. “We don’t know how many more bears were wounded and are dying in the forest, how many undersized bears were killed and just left there. We don’t know how many bear cubs were made orphans as a result of this hunt. We think that the FWC rolled the dice. The hunters found them and killed them very quickly, and the FWC was caught with their pants down. They were surprised.”

But officials with the wildlife service say the high kill count in the Panhandle and the commission’s swift action to end the hunt showed that the region has a abundant bear population and that the hunt was well controlled.

“That’s one of the large, growing bear populations,” said Thomas Eason, director of the agency’s Habitat and Species Conservation Division at a news conference Monday in Tallahassee. “We had a limited, conservative approach … We definitely were surprised by the amount of harvest on the first day.”

In South Florida, where the hunt took place primarily in Hendry and Collier counties, hunters killed 22 bears, far short of the area’s quota of 80. Eason said this may have been because the amount of public land open to hunting was much smaller in South Florida, where much of the bear population lives on federal land that’s closed to hunting, such as Big Cypress National Preserve and the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.

Diane Eggeman, director of Hunting and Game Management Division, said the commission expected to authorize another bear hunt.

“It’s our intent to have a hunt annually,” she said. “Everything is on the table at this point. We’re going to assess how the hunt went.”

Her initial assessment: “We got a good start on advancing our objective of stabilizing the large, healthy and growing bear population.”

The bear population has been estimated at more than 3,000 by the wildlife service, although the first population assessment in 13 years has only been partially completed.

She said investigators were pursuing “several” baiting cases, “a couple” of cases involving underweight bears and cases of hunters shooting bears outside the legal dates of the hunt. These violations would be second-degree misdemeanors, carrying up to $500 in fines and up to 60 days in jail.

Newton Cook, executive director of the duck hunting group United Waterfowlers of Florida, hunted bears without luck in the Ocala National Forest. But he called the hunt statewide a success, a well-run enterprise that helped control the bear population.

“As far as the hunters were concerned, it was a tremendous success and they were glad for the opportunity,” he said. “This has proven there are plenty of bears and the FWC has the resources to control the hunt. The FWC had a plan and a program that worked, and when the number they set as a target was about to be reached, they shut it down.”

For hunters, the worst thing wasn’t a failure to find a bear, it was the harassment from opponents. Under Florida’s open record law, the wildlife commission released the names and email addresses of the more than 3,000 bear permit holders (with some names withheld under exceptions to the law).

“I got emails saying ‘You killer,’ and ‘I hope you die’ and ‘murderer,'” Cook said.

One list of permit holders posted on the web called the hunters “3,000 serial killers.”

On Facebook, hunters have been collecting the worst comments and most serious threats. They are discussing whether to file suit against the people sending them out or organizing the email campaign.

Some hunt opponents had planned to head into the woods to rescue cubs orphaned by the hunt. But late Monday afternoon, they called it off.

“It is with a heavy heart that we write these next few words,” wrote Chuck O’Neal, a Seminole County environmentalist who was one of the organizers of the campaign against the hunt, in a message to other activists. “After consultation with the only private black bear cub rehabilitation facility in Florida, and weighing all the possible outcomes, we are calling off our search for orphan cubs.”

He said they called it off because the cubs were likely old enough to survive on their own, because they didn’t want the cubs to lose their fear of people and to avoid putting any would-be rescuers in danger.

He said they were better off putting their energy into pressing communities to require bear-proof garbage cans and fighting a return of the hunt next year.

“We can learn to co-exist with the bears,” he wrote. “We can end this cruel and unscientific hunt if we have leaders in place that make decisions based on science and not political expediency.”

Florida Black Bear Hunt Represents Failure of Wildlife Management

By On October 26, 2015 · 43 Comments · In Wildlife News

Florida just held its first bear hunt in several decades, targeting 300 of the bruins for death. Just three years ago, the black bear was listed as threatened, and the state’s bears had not been hunted since 1994.

The proximate reason for the hunt is that bears, according to representatives of the Florida Wildlife Commission, is that a growing bear population is contributing to greater conflicts between humans and bears. Hunters and the Wildlife Commission like to portray the issue as “problem bears”, but the reality is that there are no problem bears, only problem humans.

Most of these conflicts are due to human negligence. People leaving food attractants like unsecured garbage cans which train bears to forage near humans.

Ironically, indiscriminate hunting is not likely to reduce conflicts. For one thing, most hunters do not hunt immediately next to subdivisions where most conflicts are occurring. Rather they are most likely to the larger parcels of public or private lands. So the animals that hunters are killing, are not likely to be the ones that are wandering the edges of communities.

The second problem with indiscriminate hunting is that it’s difficult for a hunter to determine the sex of a bear. Many females with cubs are killed, leaving the young bears orphaned. Orphaned bears are inexperienced at foraging and desperate to eat, are more likely to be attracted to human foods.

So in effect, hunting only exacerbates the problem that the Florida Wildlife Commission seeks to solve.

The worse part of the hunt is that it ignores the social ecology of predators. Fish and Game agency always talk about maintaining populations. The problem with this kind of management is that it ignores the demographics of wildlife. Hunting tends to skew populations towards younger animals. So even if you maintain the same “population” if the population consists of many young inexperienced animals, you automatically create conflicts. Young animals are less likely to know the location of natural food resources, and are less successful as hunters. As a consequence, they are the very animals most likely to seek out garbage, livestock, and other human food resources.

Whether it is hunting of black bears in Florida, or the recent announcement by Oregon’s Fish and Wildlife to increase cougar hunting, wildlife agencies across the country tend to ignore predator social ecology. In effect, by having indiscriminate hunting and trapping of predators, these state wildlife agencies create a self-reinforcing loop. Predators are killed, resulting in a younger population, which in turn is more likely to create human conflicts, that are then used as an additional justification for more killing.

I see no evidence anywhere that state wildlife agencies are using the latest ecological science in their attitude and management of predators. It suggests that wildlife agencies cannot be trusted to manage predators. Keep in mind, that predators numbers will not grow indefinitely. They are self-managing, primarily by the availability of prey and food, as well as social interaction. Except perhaps for very specific surgical removal of individual animals, there is no good justification for killing predators. Even the argument that “I’m feeding my family” used by some hunters seldom applies to most predators which are not usually consumed.

Predators serve an important ecological function. Bears, for instance, move seeds of some plants around—think of the huckleberry that may be deposited in their droppings. Cougar can thin elk and deer herds to reduce their herbivory on favor plants like aspen and willow. Wolves can remove the injured and sick from a population.

Hunting of predators makes no sense in today’s world.


B.C. cub case is unbearably stupid

Naomi Lakritz, Calgary Herald
More from Naomi Lakritz, Calgary Herald

July 10, 2015 | Last Updated: July 10, 2015 3:00 AM MDT

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C. CHAD HIPOLITO / THE CANADIAN PRESS

How strange to be a conservation officer and then risk getting punished for doing your job and conserving things.

B.C. conservation officer Bryce Casavant has been suspended with pay pending an investigation into why he let a couple of black bear cubs live. The eight-week-old cubs lost their mother, who was killed because she’d repeatedly been foraging in a freezer of fish and meat at a Port Hardy mobile home.

Casavant refused to kill the cubs, who were in a tree at the site, calling for their mother. Instead, he tranquillized them, and took them to a veterinarian, from where they were sent to a wildlife recovery centre.

Casavant did the right thing. He should be reinstated immediately. The argument that at eight weeks, these babies were already habituated to human food, and thus likely to grow up to be problem bears, is nonsense, based on studies of how bear cubs develop.

According to “Sally Maughan, founder of Idaho Black Bear Rehab, Inc. has recorded extensive notes on cub development over her rehabilitation career. In general, the infant stage ranges from birth to eight weeks old. In that time, the eyes and ears open, teeth erupt, and exploration and wobble walking begin. Between eight to 12 weeks, cubs seem to pass through the bear equivalent of the terrible twos. There are swift emotional changes from calm to biting, attacking, scratching, and crying tantrums. At four to seven months old cubs are at the age of destruction and social learning as they roughhouse with siblings and other orphans. From eight months to dispersion, peace breaks out as the cubs mature and ceaselessly learn about their environment.”

In other words, the B.C. cubs didn’t have a clue what their mother was doing and they shouldn’t be punished with death for simply tagging along. It’s not like mom could get a babysitter for them while she went grocery shopping.

As Angelika Langen, co-founder of the Smithers-based Northern Lights Wildlife Society, told the media: “It’s just ridiculous. There is absolutely no scientific proof that cubs that follow their mothers for (human) food at this age have learned anything. When they’re little like this, they’re just following mom; they’re not learning yet. When they’re more than one year, it’s a totally different story.”

Chris Doyle, acting deputy chief of the Conservation Officer Service, told the media in Victoria that the Port Hardy cubs “had some level of habituation and food conditioning.” Doyle should know better than that. Casavant certainly did.

Thousands of people have signed a petition online lauding Casavant and insisting he be reinstated. I don’t think it’s just because bear cubs are cute and fuzzy. I think it’s because, as in the case of the cougar that was fatally shot last year as it peacefully sunned itself on the lawn of Calgary’s South Health Campus, people are sick and tired of the senseless and unnecessary deaths of wildlife.

A lot of people didn’t buy the official explanation that cleared the cougar shooting as a matter of public safety after some initial bumbling with tranquillizer guns. The cougar was bothering no one.

Of such incidents that make the news, one of the few that was handled properly — that is, no animal was needlessly killed — was the case of the Scenic Acres moose. When a mother moose and her twin calves turned up in a ravine in the northwest Calgary community in May, and failed to leave after a few weeks, officials tranquillized the mother, rounded up the calves, and moved the family far away out of the city.

Casavant should go back to work — he is obviously a highly competent, caring and humane individual — and the cubs should be cared for at the rehab centre until they can be released into the wild. The focus should always be on finding ways to let wildlife live, rather than killing them.

Naomi Lakritz is a Herald columnist.

Petitioning Ministry of Environment, Canada

Petitioning Ministry of Environment Mary Polak

Reinstate conservation officer Bryce Casavant


Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant has been suspended without pay pending a performance investigation after he refused to put down two bear cubs this weekend.

These baby bears, a brother and sister, were orphaned after their mother had to be destroyed after she had, at least twice, broken into a freezer of salmon and deer meat inside a mobile home on Hardy Bay Road, “through no fault of the owner.” “Although it is unlikely the mother was in town due to the fire, it is hard to know,” said Casavant.

On July 5, Casavant and members of the Port Hardy Fire Department literally pulled out all stops to rescue the babies who had come back to the property and were up a tree calling for their mother.

“They (firefighters) had their high-angle rescue specialist scale the tree and rappel down on top of the bears to lower them to me. I then tranquilized them by hand,” said Casavant.

The babies were estimated to be about eight weeks and weigh 20 to 25 pounds, are healthy and still nursing.

Please sign this petition to show your support to have Bryce Casavant reinstated as conservation officer to the North Island.

Letter to
Ministry of Environment Mary Polak
Reinstate conservation officer Bryce Casavant