Pedals, a black bear who became an Internet sensation after being repeatedly spotted walking upright through suburban New Jersey, has been killed by a hunter, animal rights activists claim.
Pedals was a favourite son of Rockaway Township, New Jersey, his legend growing after photos and videos surfaced online of him strolling in human-like fashion.
It is unclear whether his front limbs were injured, or whether a defect of some sort necessitated the unusual posture.
He was reportedly killed by a bowhunter last week, and outrage grew online after a message was posted to a Facebook group dedicated to him declaring that the hunter "bragged" about killing him.
The bipedal bear has been compared to Harambe, the gorilla killed at the Cincinnati zoo, and Cecil, the lion killed in Zimbabwe by an American dentist, due to the outpouring of anger and sadness over his demise.
New Jersey is America's most densely populated state, but black bear sightings are not uncommon.
The state opened a five-day hunting season on the massive mammals last Monday, and 487 bears were killed during that time, according to the New York Times.
Wildlife authorities said that Pedals may have been killed, but they could not confirm the reports because he 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, said.
Activists had previously raised US$22,000 to have Pedals moved to a wildlife sanctuary, out of fear that his condition would make it difficult to survive in the wild.
Lisa Rose-Rublack has said that money will now be used to "do some good in his memory."