Dead bear cub found in Central Park

CENTRAL PARK -- The NYPD's Animal Cruelty Squad is investigating the discovery of a dead bear cub in Central Park Monday morning.

The bear was found by a dog walker around 9:45 a.m. underneath a bush near West 69th Street and West Drive.

The dog walker notified a Central Park Conservancy worker who was on rounds. The worker then called 911.

There were signs of trauma and lacerations on the bear's body.

"The news that a dead black bear cub was found in Central Park is beyond upsetting," says Elizabeth Kaledin, Central Park Conservancy spokeswoman. "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."

People in the park who were enjoying the fall day are very surprised by the finding.

"Yes, I'm very surprised," said tourist Steve Martin from Omaha. "Maybe there's one from the zoo over there. I don't know. How else would one get here?"

That is the question everyone is asking Monday evening.

"Yeah, it's interesting you know," added Martin. "You find everything in Central Park, I guess."

The baby bear will be removed from Central Park, and a necropsy will be performed at the Bronx Zoo to determine the cause of death.

No bears are missing from the Central Park zoo.

Police are currently unsure how the bear got there. They are looking to see if the bear was dumped there or if it somehow wandered into Central Park unnoticed.

More details will be posted as they become available.
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