Central Park mystery: Dumped, bludgeoned bear cub discovered in NYC park

The discovery of the dead bear, which was found under a bush and near an abandoned bicycle, has baffled officials and disturbed members of the public, who go jogging, relax, walk their dogs and play with their children in Central Park. No animals have been reported missing from any zoo in the city, leading to speculation that the bear may have been killed elsewhere and its body dumped. Two women, while walking their dogs, noticed the cub under a bush on Monday, and authorities suspect animal cruelty played a role.

It was terrible, and it was the strangest thing.

Florence Slatkin, one of two women who discovered the dead bear

Bears are not among the park’s known wildlife population, and there are no bears at the Central Park Zoo. No bears were reported missing from other zoos. The dead 3-foot-tall bear cub was being sent to Albany, where the state Department of Environmental Conservation was taking over the case and performing a necropsy on it. It was unclear what type of bear it was.