Hiker Takes Bear Pictures Before Fatal Attack

By: Tatiana Vickerie

The hiker who was killed by a bear back in September took a series of photographs on his cellphone before he was mauled to death while walking with his four friends in West Milford’s Apshawa Presevere. The phone was found with puncture marks form the bear’s teeth, according to The New York Daily News.

NJ Advance Media was able to obtain five photos of the bear upon filing an Open Public Record Act request, according to The Daily Targum.

Pictures showed that the bear was at a 100-foot distance from Patel. The bear did not seem interested in food but rather had a “stalking-type behavior” said West Milford police, according to an Associated Press story published by nbcnews.com.

When the bear came within15 feet, the hikers split up. Patel was last seen climbing a rock with the bear behind him when his friends called 911. Patel’s body was found hours later, according to nj.com.

Darsh Patel was a 22-year-old Rutgers student who was attacked by a 300-pound black bear on Sept. 21 during a hike according to an Oct.13 article in The Raritan River Review.

Human remains were found in the bear’s stomach and esophagus, and human blood and tissue were found underneath its claws, authorities said according to The Daily Targum.