A Rutgers University student took five photos of a black bear that killed him soon afterward, and police yesterday released the images. They show the bear at a distance of about 100 feet from Darsh Patel, who took the pictures with his phone in the Apshawa Preserve in New Jersey. The phone was discovered near Patel's body after police arrived on the scene, having received a call from the four friends Patel had been hiking with. In the aftermath of the incident, a necropsy found human flesh and clothing in the bear; it was also found to have had blood on its paws, the Record reports.
Police have said that two other hikers warned Patel and his friends that a bear was following behind the duo. The group wanted to see the animal, so they kept walking, says a report by a wildlife official who spoke with the surviving hikers. "They stopped and took photographs of the bear with their cell phones and the bear began walking towards them," the report says. They started walking away, and when the bear closed the distance between them to roughly 15 feet they ran, splitting up as they did so, police say. Patel lost a shoe while running and was last seen climbing up some rocks with the bear behind him; he yelled to his friends to keep going, police note. The others escaped and called 911. Four hours later, emergency personnel found Patel's body, NJ.com reports.