MORRISTOWN -- A hunter who says he was falsely accused online of killing a bipedal black bear who became internet celebrity has sued six social media posters.

John DeFilippo's attorney filed the suit Tuesday. It seeks undisclosed compensatory and punitive damages for defamation and invasion of privacy.

The suit stems from the apparent death of Pedals during the first part of this year's state bear hunt, which was staged in October. The animal walked upright on its hind legs due to an injury and was seen strolling around New Jersey neighborhoods in videos posted on social media and shown on national television.

State wildlife officials believe Pedals was killed. But they can't confirm that because Pedals was never tagged.

The name of the hunter who killed the bear has not been released.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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