Police puzzled after bear cub found dead in NYC’s Central Park

Posted at 11:20 PM, Oct 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-06 23:20:06-04

(CNN) — The only bears known to inhabit New York’s Central Park are at its zoo — so how did a dead bear cub end up under a bush?

Neither police nor park officials had an answer for that late Monday, hours after a morning dog walker discovered the carcass of a 3-foot-tall bear cub. The person alerted a Central Park Conservancy worker who then called the police, according to Central Park Conservancy spokeswoman Elizabeth Kaledin.

She added that the bear was not from the park’s zoo, but “any time wildlife is hurt or injured we are upset and deeply alarmed.”

The cub was found under a bush near West 69th Street and West Drive in the park, and appeared to show signs of trauma with an injury to its side and possible lacerations, police said.

It was not immediately clear whether the bear wandered into the park or if its body was dumped there, an NYPD spokeswoman said.

The incident is being investigated by the NYPD’s animal cruelty squad, the spokeswoman added.

The carcass was taken to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in Albany for a necropsy, according to police.