Just before a black bear attacked and killed him, New Jersey resident Darsh Patel snapped images of the animal with his cell phone.
Police in West Milford have released five photos taken by 22-year-old Darsh Patel before he was killed by the 300-pound black bear while hiking with four friends in the Apshawa Preserve, 45 miles northwest of New York.
“The lumbering, 300-pound bear was shown on all fours in West Milford’s Apshawa Preserve on Sept. 21, as it approached Patel, a Rutgers University student who was fatally mauled and bitten during a hike with four others,” details the New York Post. Patel’s cell phone, which also suffered punctures from the bear’s teeth, was recovered following the attack.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 26, 2014
According to the New York Daily News, Patel’s hiking group had been advised by a couple at the preserve’s entrance that a bear was nearby and that they should turn around — but they continued on anyway.
When they happened upon the bear, Patel took photos from a distance of about 100 feet. Another hiker in his group snapped a photo as well.
“The group turned and began walking away, but the bear followed, police said. When it got within about 15 feet, the five split up and took off running. Four of them escaped and called 911. Patel was last seen climbing a rock with the bear close behind. He screamed for the others to keep going,” details the New York Daily News.
After a two-hour search, police discovered Patel’s body as the bear lingered close by.
The New York Post reports that after the animal was shot to death by officers, a necropsy “revealed it had ingested human tissue and blood, as well as clothing, and had human blood on its paws.”