Black bears were virtually eradicated from New Jersey by the 1960s, but have since rebounded to a population of about 2,500. When the four of them safely regrouped, they realised Patel was missing and phoned the police. The five stopped when the bear was 300 feet away, Storbeck had said. They eventually walked farther into the woods. However, just before he met his demise, he snapped photos of his killer with his cell phone. Please support local journalism. On Sunday, Patel, who was majoring in information technology and informatics, was found dead in Apshawa Preserve - about 45 miles northwest of New York City - … Apshawa Preserve: The friends were hiking when Darsh was attacked (Image: syvwlch / Flickr). WEST MILFORD, N.J. -- Authorities have released a 911 call made in connection with a deadly bear attack that claimed the life of a 22-year-old Rutgers student who was hiking with four of his friends. Darsh Patel (inset), a student of Rutgers University (background), was killed while hiking. Apparent bear attack killed Edison man, 22, in West Milford “WEST MILFORD — An Edison hiker was found dead Sunday after an encounter with a bear, police said. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. An official says the attack was the first fatal bear-human encounter on record in New Jersey ... had gone to the Apshawa Preserve, about 45 miles northwest of … The 40-acre Butler Reservoir is a scenic attraction for hikers and birdwatchers, and the Apshawa Brook flows through the preserve to the Pequannock River. Typically, black bears are not aggressive and tend to flee from humans, according to the New Jersey DEP website. West Milford Officials and representatives from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection called a press conference to discuss the suspected fatal bear attack. Darsh Patel was 22. A black bear, similar to the creature which killed Patel, {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}}, Black bear kills university student in New Jersey's Apshwa Preserve, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. Gallery: Suspected bear attack kills Edison man at West Milford nature preserve. Rutgers student Darsh Patel, 22, … Darsh Patel, a Rutgers University student from Edison, New Jersey, and his friends came face to face with the bear on Sunday afternoon in the Apshawa Preserve around 40 miles northwest of New York City, according to the West Milford Township police department. A black bear killed a 22-year-old student as he hiked with four of his friends through a densely wooded area of the US state of New Jersey, police confirmed on Monday. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? As the bear got to within 15ft the group ran off in different directions. Description. Patel was in his final year at Rutgers University, where he had majored in information technology and informatics. Some 60 such fatal attacks have occurred in North America over the last century, experts said. Read our full mailing list consent terms here. Welcome to the Apshawa Preserve! Subscribe today », Seth Augenstein | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, who was killed by the same bear just a short while later, phone was later recovered with a puncture mark from the animal's teeth, fatal attacks have occurred in North America over the last century. The hikers turned around when the bear kept approaching, authorities said. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. However, the attacks on Patel can still be considered "one in a million," they added. A Rutgers University student was killed after being attacked by a black bear as he hiked through a nature preserve in North Jersey Sunday, authorities say. But the bear caught up with them, eventually closing to within 15 feet, investigators said. The 576 acre Apshawa Preserve is located in West Milford in the heart of the NJ Highlands region. The death of Patel was the first confirmed instance of a person being killed by a bear in New Jersey. Around two hours later, officers found and shot dead the four-year-old male bear, which weighed around 136kg (300lbs), as it guarded Patel's dead body, CBS New York reported. 53979. Authorities say the first known fatal bear attack in New Jersey was unprovoked and the bear was ... Darsh Patel was hiking with four friends in the Apshawa Preserve … The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Darsh Patel, 22, a Rutgers University student, was hiking with four friends on Sunday when the group encountered the ... Patel was part of a group of five Edison men hiking through the Apshawa Preserve, a … The eyewitness interviews give the most detailed account yet of what happened at the Apshawa Preserve where Darsh Patel was killed by the 300-pound bear's claws and teeth, according to … Apshawa Preserve. 22 … “As we grieve over his tragic passing, please know that our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones and to all his friends and fellow students at Rutgers,” Rutgers Chancellor Dr Richard L. Edwards said in a statement. New Jersey hiker killed in bear attack ... Apshawa Preserve is a 576-acre nature preserve of oak and sugar maple trees that is popular with hikers and bird watchers. WEST MILFORD, N.J. – Authorities believe a 300-pound black bear attacked and killed a hiker in a North Jersey nature preserve. Those were the only six pictures taken by the group, said Ricciardi. Patel at one point lost his shoe, and was last seen climbing a rock formation as he hollered for his friends to continue, with the bear right behind him. If parking lots are near capacity,… When the bear reached that proximity, the group split up running in different directions, they later told police investigators. Darsh Patel, a Rutgers University student from Edison, New Jersey, and his friends came face to face with the bear on Sunday afternoon in the Apshawa Preserve around 40 … A 2012 report published by the department states that there are around 3,000 black bears in New Jersey - one of the highest black bear densities in the nation. The photographs are from the phone of Darsh Patel, the 22-year-old Rutgers University student who was killed by the same bear just a short while later, said Lt. Keith Ricciardi, of the West Milford Police. Please continue to following the guidelines put forth by the CDC, including social distancing, limiting group sizes, and wearing masks when appropriate. While black bears are common in New Jersey and have been sighted in all of the state 21 counties, attacks on humans are “definitely rare” according to Lawrence Hajna, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection. A sixth photo, taken by a friend of Patel’s who was apparently standing next to him, is virtually identical to the five from Patel’s phone. Apshawa Preserve; Search. Chief Timothy Storbeck said in previous interviews that Patel and four of his friends had begun walking into the preserve that afternoon when they were met by a man and a woman coming the other way. In 2002, a bear killed a 5-month-old girl in New York State after knocking her out of a stroller and dragging her into the woods of the Catskills Mountains. All rights reserved (About Us). More stories on. In a statement, the mayor of West Milford said the entire circumstances of the deadly encounter will be reviewed. - This story was first published in November 2014. The pair warned the larger group about a bear following them. Patel was hiking with four of his friends when the bear began following them, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. Authorities say the first known fatal bear attack in New Jersey was unprovoked and the bear was acting in a 'predatory' manner. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. A black bear has attacked and killed a hiker in a New Jersey nature preserve. Nature & Wildlife Areas. A New Jersey university student was killed after being mauled by a black bear while hiking, in what officials called an extremely rare attack. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. As of May 2, 2020, Franklin Parker Preserve and Apshawa Preserve are reopened to the public, consistent with the reopening of New Jersey state and county parks. The 22-year-old student became the … An autopsy showed that Patel was mauled by the bear. A New Jersey man met an untimely fate while hiking through the Apshawa Preserve. ... How old was the bear? Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. The search and rescue team that had been back there was clapping their hands, trying to make noises…trying to scare it off, but it never really left," West Milford Police Chief Tim Storbeck said. The pictures show the 300-pound black bear approaching the group of hikers in West Milford’s Apshawa Preserve on Sept. 21, according to authorities, who released the series of five photographs in response to an Open Public Records Act request filed by NJ Advance Media. In 2014, a 22-year-old Rutgers University student, Darsh Patel, was hiking with four friends in the Apshawa Preserve in … Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. WEST MILFORD — The hiker who was killed by a bear in September took pictures of the animal just before the attack. Darsh Patel was walking with four friends through the Apshawa Preserve in West Milford in September when the black bear attacked. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Find NJ.com on Facebook. The Apshawa Preserve is a 576-acre natural area used for hiking and bird watching. Patel was part of a group of five Edison men hiking through the Apshawa Preserve, a wooded area of West Milford, Police Chief Timothy C. Storbeck said in a press release. Seth Augenstein can be reached at saugenstein@njadvancemedia.com. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. 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. Facebook Share. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? Apshawa's mixed hardwood forest is dominated by oak and sugar maple. The phone was later recovered with a puncture mark from the animal's teeth, according to investigatory records. The preserve is a cooperative project of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation (NJCF) and the county of Passaic. On Sunday, according to police our affiliate links we may earn a.. 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