The dead bear cub found Monday in New York City's Central Park was most likely hit by a motor vehicle, officials said Tuesday. The provenance of the 3-foot baby black bear has been the focus of much speculation, but authorities provided little added information about where it came from, or how it came to be dead on the west side of the park Monday morning.
A necropsy of the six-month-old, female, 44-pound bear conducted in Albany determined that the cause of death was "blunt force injuries consistent with a motor vehicle," the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation said Tuesday, according to the New York Times. Lori Severino, a DEC spokeswoman, added to the Times that the animal's origins remained unknown, though it was “likely not the park.”
The DEC investigation into the cub's death continues, according to NBC New York, which added that officials said a number of environmental law violations potentially face whoever hit the bear or brought it to the park, including illegal possession, transport and disposal of an untagged bear, officials said. The story of a dog-walker finding a dead baby bear marred by scratches under some bushes in America's most famous urban park captivated the imagination -- and tore at the heartstrings -- of many New Yorkers. “This is a highly unusual situation,” Central Park Conservancy spokeswoman Elizabeth Kaledin said Monday, the New York Times reported at the time. “It’s awful.”