Police say a black bear cub was found dead in New York City’s Central Park Monday morning. According to a report by ABC News, the cub was 3-feet-long and was found by someone walking a dog, who notified a Central Park Conservancy worker.
It’s a mystery as to how the cub got there in the first place. An investigation is being carried out to learn if the bear’s body was dumped there or if it entered the park still alive and later died. A necropsy will be performed, police report. The cub’s body does show signs of trauma, however.
Central Park Conservancy spokeswoman, Elizabeth Kaledin, issued the following statement.
“The news that a dead black bear cub was found in Central Park is beyond upsetting. Whenever any wildlife is harmed or injured we at the Conservancy are upset and alarmed. Black bears are not native to Central Park and there are no black bears kept at the Central Park Zoo so this is a highly unusual situation.”
In a report by the New York Daily News, the conservancy worker at Central Park discovered the animal around 9:45 a.m. and called 911. Its exact location at the park was at 69th St. and West Drive. In this report, it states that police do believe the bear cub was dumped at the park.
“Certainly, a cub did not wander into Central Park by itself,” Geoffrey Croft of New York City Park Advocates says. “That’s highly, highly unlikely.”
So, what caused the bear cub’s death?
According to Daily News, a police source reveals that law enforcement is looking into the possibility that the bear was thrown out of a car. The death is also being investigated by the NYPD Animal Cruelty Squad.
As Reuters further reports, black bears aren’t native to New York City, but some inhabit wooded areas around New Jersey.
The news source also explains that the bear cub found dead in New York City’s Central Park is being treated as a criminal investigation. No zoos in the area have reported a missing young bear.
Bears and other various species of wildlife don’t live in Central Park, nor are they drawn to the highly populated urban area; they are polar opposites, in fact.
If the bear cub found dead wasn’t reported missing by any zoos or wildlife rehabilitation centers, authorities have every reason to suspect that foul play was involved.
[Image via New York Daily News]