A bear cub has been found dead under a bush inside New York City's Central Park, and authorities suspect animal cruelty played a role in its death.
Police say the cub was found Monday morning by a dog walker who notified a Central Park Conservancy employee. There were signs of trauma to the body. Authorities say it may have been dumped there.
Florence Slatkin told WABC-TV that she and a friend were walking out of the park when her friend's dog spotted something near a bicycle lying on the ground.
"When we went and looked closer, we saw something on the back wheel that could have been a raccoon," Slatkin said. "I didn't know what it was. Then, I thought it was a big dog, the head of a dog that was obviously dead."
Police dusted the bicycle for prints.
Bears are not among the park's known wildlife population, and there are no bears at the Central Park Zoo right now. No bears were reported missing from other zoos.
The animal was being sent to Albany, where the state Department of Environmental Conservation was taking over the case and performing a necropsy on the 3-foot cub. It wasn't clear what type of bear it was.