NEW YORK — A bear cub found dead in the bushes of New York City’s Central Park this week was likely struck and killed by a vehicle, state wildlife officials said on Wednesday.
The body of the 6-month-old female black bear was spotted by dog walkers near an entrance to the park, where it had apparently been dumped. Bears are not known to roam the park, and no black bears live at the park’s zoo.
A necropsy on the 44-pound animal found that her injuries were of the sort seen in a collision with a vehicle, the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Wildlife Health Unit said in a statement.
The department did not comment on how the bear came to be in the park.
The department’s police officers are searching for whoever dumped the bear. They could be charged with illegal possession, transport and disposal of an untagged bear, the department said.
Black bears are not native to New York City, but they are common in wooded areas of nearby New Jersey, where they have been spotted in all of the state’s 21 counties.