A dead bear cub was found Monday in New York City's Central Park, and authorities have not yet figured out how it got there -- or how it died. The 3-foot baby black bear was first spotted under a bush by a dog walker who notified a Central Park Conservancy worker about 9:45 a.m., the New York Times reported. The bear's age was not immediately discernable, officials said.
“This is a highly unusual situation,” conservancy spokeswoman Elizabeth Kaledin said, according to the New York Times. “It’s awful.”
The bear had scratches on the side of its body, but police were unable to determine immediately what caused them, the New York Post reported, adding officials said the NYPD's Animal Cruelty Squad is investigating the incident. Bronx Zoo staffers will examine the body to determine the cause of death.
A law enforcement source told the Post someone likely "put it there” since bears have not been spotted in Central Park and the Central Park Zoo has not reported any of its bears missing.
“We’re always alarmed and distraught when any wildlife is injured,” Kaledin said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We don’t know if it was injured in Central Park.”