FREDON, N.J. — Former U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli on Saturday joined opponents of New Jersey’s bear hunt who say it is inhumane and blame it for the death of a wild bear that walked upright.

“They’re slaughtering entire families of bears. It’s unforgivable,” he said outside a weigh station.

His involvement comes after a City College of New York professor, Bill Crain, was sentenced to 10 days in jail after his seventh arrest in protesting the hunt.

As of Friday, hunters killed a record 629 bears, up from the 2010 record of 592. The hunt was scheduled to end Saturday.

State wildlife officials believe the bipedal bear, known as Pedals, was killed during a hunt in October.

Pedals first gained fame after it was spotted in 2014 ambling around neighborhoods and was caught on videos that were posted on social media and played on national television. Animal activists suspected Pedals walked on its hind legs because of injuries to its paws. They doubted Pedals was able to run, climb, defend itself, or even eat properly, and they feared it might not survive.

Torricelli ended a re-election bid in 2002 after an ethics panel admonished him over campaign contributions. A one-time donor pleaded guilty to illegally channeling money in 1996 to Torricelli, then a congressman. Torricelli wasn’t charged with a crime.


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