Police release photos of bear that attacked student

In this Sept. 21, 2014 photo taken by hiker Darsh Patel and provided by the West Milford Police Department, a bear approaches 22-year-old Patel in New Jersey's Apshawa Preserve. Patel was mauled to death by the bear shortly after the photo was taken. (AP Photo/Darsh Patel via West Milford Police Department)
In this Sept. 21, 2014 photo taken by hiker Darsh Patel and provided by the West Milford Police Department, a bear approaches 22-year-old Patel in New Jersey's Apshawa Preserve. Patel was mauled to death by the bear shortly after the photo was taken. (AP Photo/Darsh Patel via West Milford Police Department)

Darsh Patel, the Rutgers senior who was killed in a bear attack on Sept. 21st, photographed the bear that mauled him just before the attack.

After filing an Open Public Records Act request, NJ Advance Media obtained Patel’s five photos showing the 300-pound bear. Patel’s phone was recovered, imprinted with a puncture mark from the bear’s teeth, according to NJ.com.

Patel was hiking with friends in the Apshawa Preserve in West Milford Township at the time of the attack, according to a Sept. 22 article  in The Daily Targum.

The pictures show the bear at a distance of about 100 feet, according to nj.com. 

When the bear closed in at around 15 feet, the hikers split up. Patel was last seen climbing a rock formation with the bear right behind him, according to nj.com. His friends called 911 and Patel’s body was found four hours later.

An autopsy of the bear showed human remains in its stomach and esophagus and human blood and tissue underneath its claws, authorities told nj.com.

The last recorded bear attack in New Jersey prior to this was in 1852, according to the September article in the Targum. The attack on Patel was “unique and unusual,” though West Milford has one of the highest black bear populations in the New Jersey.


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