NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A three-foot bear was found dead Monday morning in Central Park with signs of trauma, sources said.

At around 9:45 a.m., the cub was found beneath some bushes at 69th Street and West Drive by a dog-walker in an area that is crowded throughout the day, CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported.

“The bicycle was under the bushes and part of the bicycle was sticking out, and that’s what we saw,” Florence Slatkin told CBS 2’s Matt Kozar.

Slatkin told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman she went to investigate after seeing a bicycle sticking out from under a bush.

“We went over and looked and there was something laying on the back wheel. I thought it was a raccoon, but when I went closer it looked like a dead dog,” Slatkin said.

Slatkin called over some workers with the park conservancy and that’s when they realized it was a bear, Silverman reported.

“It was awful, because obviously this animal didn’t die naturally,” she said.

Sources told CBS 2 and WCBS 880 the bear had stab and slash wounds on its body.

It’s not believed that the bear lived in New York City, but rather was dumped from a car considering the proximity to the roadway, Brennan reported.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation took possession of the bear and drove it up to Albany where it will undergo a necropsy, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.

The NYPD is investigating this as an animal cruelty case.

Area residents were stunned to learn about the bear.

“I cross this area every day and I just heard what happened. It’s very sad,” said Upper West Side resident Ingrid Bilowich.

“I live on the corner and am by here every day. It’s bizarre, just bizarre,” said Dana Weiss.

“To think people would do something like this to an animal — very disturbing,” said Upper West Side resident James Hunt.

It is a violation of the health code to dispose of an animal’s body in the park. If found, the offender faces possible health code violation charges in addition to possible animal cruelty charges.

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