The NY State Department of Environmental Conservation announced that the baby black bear, found dead in Central Park on Monday, was fatally run over by a motorist.
The DEC performed a necropsy and determined the cub was female. The Wall Street Journal reports: "According to the DEC, the cub was about six months old and weighed about 44 pounds. The cause of death was officially determined to be blunt force trauma consistent with a motor vehicle collision."
The body of the bear, which did not come from the Central Park Zoo, was discovered in the park by a pair of dog owners. Florence Slatkin said, "The mouth was open and it looked bloody... At first, I thought it was a raccoon." The bear was partly covered by an abandoned bike, under a bush near West 69th Street.
According to the NY Times, "Lucas Altman told the police that he believed one of his two black Labradors had sniffed the bear during their walk Sunday night. An officer told him the bear appeared to have been dragged to the spot where she was found. 'They don’t at this moment think the bear wandered there on its own,' Mr. Altman said, suggesting nefarious human involvement."
The NYPD's Animal Cruelty Unit is investigating. The DEC said the bear's death suggests violations like "the illegal possession, transport and disposal of an untagged bear."