Student Killed by Bear Took Pictures of It First

Darsh Patel lost shoe, told friends to go ahead
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2014 10:49 AM CST
Student Killed by Bear Took Pictures of It First
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.   (AP Photo/Darsh Patel via West Milford Police Department)

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, reports. (More Rutgers University stories.)

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