A 22-year-old student at Rutgers who was mauled to death by a bear while hiking in New Jersey captured a few photos of the 300-pound animal before it chased him, killed him – and even chewed the phone the victim used to take his last pictures.
Darsh Patel was hiking with four friends through the Apshawa Preserve in West Milford in September when the black bear came into sight.
Patel became the first person to be killed by a bear in New Jersey.
West Milford police Tuesday released six photos captured on cell phone before the attack, five of them were snapped by Patel himself before the animal attacked him, according to The Record of Hackensack.
The images show the lurking male bear approaching a fallen tree about 100 feet from the group.
The bear appears to get closer in the five photos taken by the fallen student, including the one in this article.
The police report said the young hikers attracted the bear’s attention when they began taking pictures, according to The Record.
“They stopped and took photographs of the bear with their cellphones and the bear began walking towards them,” the police report said.
After taking the photos, the four men tried to walk away, but the bear began following them and came within 15 feet of the group.
That’s when the group decided to split up and ran in separate directions, they told police.
The bear ended up following Patel. Four of them later regrouped, noticed Patel was missing and called the police.
After a two-hour search, Patel’s body was discovered as the bear lingered near him. Police shot the bear to death. A necropsy of the bear reveal that it had ingested human organs, tissue, and blood, as well as clothing and had human blood on its paws, The Record Said.
Patel’s phone was also recovered with fang marks in it.