The 3-foot-long black bear cub was discovered by a dog walker, who alerted a Central Park Conservancy worker, police said.
Police are currently investigating the bear cub came to be in the park at all. It is not yet clear whether the bear's body was dumped there, or if the cub wandered into the park while still alive.
The black bear's body shows signs of trauma, police said, noting a necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.
"The news that a dead black bear cub was found in Central Park is beyond upsetting," Elizabeth Kaledin, a spokeswoman for the Central Park Conservancy, said in a statement. "Whenever any wildlife is harmed or injured we at the Conservancy are upset and alarmed. Black bears are not native to Central Park and there are no black bears kept at the Central Park Zoo so this is a highly unusual situation."