Dead bear cub in Central Park likely hit by auto

Florence Slatkin, with her dog Paco, points to the spot where she and a friend discovered a dead bear cub Monday in New York's Central Park, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014. Slatkin, a longtime resident of the Upper West Side, said that they were leaving the park when her friend's terrier spotted something near a bicycle lying on the ground. The cub's head was on top of the back bicycle wheel, Slatkin said. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — A bear cub found dead under a bush in Central Park likely was hit by a motor vehicle and wasn’t the victim of animal cruelty as was first suspected, state wildlife officials said Tuesday.

The lifeless black cub was spotted Monday by two women walking their dogs. There were signs of trauma to the cub’s body, which authorities said may have been dumped there.

One of the women, Florence Slatkin, said she and a friend were leaving the park when her friend’s terrier spotted something near a bicycle lying on the ground.

As they got closer, they realized it was a small bear “with its mouth wide open and scratches on the side,” Slatkin said, adding that the cub’s head lay on top of a bicycle wheel.

“It was terrible, and it was the strangest thing,” she said. “Why was the bike there?”

The women notified a Central Park Conservancy employee.

After the lab tests performed in partnership with Cornell University, the Wildlife Health Unit of the state Department of Environmental Conservation determined the cause of death was blunt trauma consistent with a vehicle crash.

Wildlife experts said the cub was a female, about 6 months old and weighing 44 pounds.

Authorities don’t know how the bear ended up in Central Park since bears are not among the park’s known wildlife population.

The case remains an open DEC investigation. Environmental Conservation law violations include the illegal possession, transport and disposal of an untagged bear.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s