TRENTON - A bill in Trenton aimed at stopping the bear hunt at least for the next few years is now heading to the full Senate for a vote.
On Monday, a state Senate committee advanced legislation, named after Pedals, to outlaw the bear hunt for five years.
It also requires bear birth control and other means to limit the population.
State wildlife officials say it is very likely that Pedals was killed by a hunter. The slain bear's injuries to the front legs are consistent with Pedals' injuries. The bear adapted by walking on his back legs.
However, it can't be confirmed that Pedals was brought to the Green Pond check station, partially because state biologists never identified and tagged him.
The state's Department of Environmental Protection says there is no evidence that birth control or any other means is as effective as hunting.
Officials say 562 bears were killed last week in the hunt.
It's likely that Gov. Chris Christie will veto any bill banning the hunt since his administration reinstated it six years ago.
The next cull is scheduled for December.