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. 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. Apshawa's mixed hardwood forest is dominated by oak and sugar maple. 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. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. WEST MILFORD, N.J. – Authorities believe a 300-pound black bear attacked and killed a hiker in a North Jersey nature preserve. Welcome to the Apshawa Preserve! A bear at the scene was euthanized. Apshawa Preserve; Search. The 22-year-old student became the … Black bears were virtually eradicated from New Jersey by the 1960s, but have since rebounded to a population of about 2,500. 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 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 … 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 … Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. 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. Please continue to following the guidelines put forth by the CDC, including social distancing, limiting group sizes, and wearing masks when appropriate. Seth Augenstein can be reached at saugenstein@njadvancemedia.com. 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 … Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? 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 black bear has attacked and killed a hiker in a New Jersey nature preserve. The Apshawa Preserve is a 576-acre natural area used for hiking and bird watching. Gallery: Suspected bear attack kills Edison man at West Milford nature preserve. Typically, black bears are not aggressive and tend to flee from humans, according to the New Jersey DEP website. Yes, there was a bear attack back in 2014, but rest assured that was a freak occurrence and the only fatal attack on record in all of NJ, *ever*. “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. 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 … New Jersey’s fifth consecutive bear hunt begins Dec. 8. Those were the only six pictures taken by the group, said Ricciardi. Darsh Patel was walking with four friends through the Apshawa Preserve in West Milford in September when the black bear attacked. But the bear caught up with them, eventually closing to within 15 feet, investigators said. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. West Milford Officials and representatives from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection called a press conference to discuss the suspected fatal bear attack. The five pictures taken from Patel’s phone show the bear from approximately 100 feet, looking toward the hikers but still behind a fallen log, authorities said. ... How old was the bear? The powerful creature followed the hikers, causing them to scatter in fear, the police said in a statement. 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. 0. The bear was in the area, authorities said. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. WEST MILFORD — The hiker who was killed by a bear in September took pictures of the animal just before the attack. Please support local journalism. Rutgers student Darsh Patel, 22, … Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Facebook Share. However, just before he met his demise, he snapped photos of his killer with his cell phone. He was the first known person in New Jersey history to be killed by a black bear. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. 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. A New Jersey university student was killed after being mauled by a black bear while hiking, in what officials called an extremely rare attack. 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. 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. The hikers turned around when the bear kept approaching, authorities said. Nature & Wildlife Areas. The group of four fled the woods and called 911, according to police records. West Milford police … "There was a bear that was circling the area that would not leave the victim. When the four of them safely regrouped, they realised Patel was missing and phoned the police. In a statement, the mayor of West Milford said the entire circumstances of the deadly encounter will be reviewed. The preserve is a cooperative project of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation (NJCF) and the county of Passaic. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. The death of Patel was the first confirmed instance of a person being killed by a bear in New Jersey. Apshawa Preserve is a 576-acre preserve with a diversity of habitats and beautiful vistas in the heart of the Highlands of northern New Jersey. Read our full mailing list consent terms here. Larry Ragonese, of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, told the broadcaster that the bear will undergo a full necropsy to determine what may have prompted it to become aggressive. Bear attacks on humans are rare, but can be deadly. at November 21, 2020. by Christy Pepple. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Human remains were found in the bear’s stomach and esophagus, and human blood and tissue were found underneath its claws, authorities said. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. 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. A New Jersey man met an untimely fate while hiking through the Apshawa Preserve. 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. No one had been killed by a black bear in New Jersey since 1852, according to a 2010 report on black bears by the New Jersey Fish and Game Council. 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. 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. - This story was first published in November 2014. Darsh Patel, 22, a Rutgers University student, was hiking with four friends on Sunday when the group encountered the 53979. As the bear got to within 15ft the group ran off in different directions. 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. All rights reserved (About Us). Darsh Patel (inset), a student of Rutgers University (background), was killed while hiking. Description. 22 … If parking lots are near capacity,… Eventually, a police officer shot and killed the bear. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? However, the attacks on Patel can still be considered "one in a million," they added. An autopsy showed that Patel was mauled by the bear. Some 60 such fatal attacks have occurred in North America over the last century, experts said. 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. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. 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. "It just kept lingering, it kept trying to circle back around, so at that time is when the officer shot.". Apshawa Preserve: The friends were hiking when Darsh was attacked (Image: syvwlch / Flickr). Authorities say the first known fatal bear attack in New Jersey was unprovoked and the bear was acting in a 'predatory' manner. The couple walked away, leaving the group of five to talk about what they were going to do. They eventually walked farther into the woods. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. No one has been killed by a black bear in New Jersey since 1852, according to … 7 Reviews #2 of 6 things to do in West Milford. Apshawa Preserve. Emergency responders came upon Patel’s body about four hours later. 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. 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. When the bear reached that proximity, the group split up running in different directions, they later told police investigators. 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 … Authorities say a black bear attacked and killed a hiker in a northern New Jersey nature preserve. 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. The 576 acre Apshawa Preserve is located in West Milford in the heart of the NJ Highlands region. Patel was in his final year at Rutgers University, where he had majored in information technology and informatics. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? In 2014, a 22-year-old Rutgers University student, Darsh Patel, was hiking with four friends in the Apshawa Preserve in … Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. ... Patel was part of a group of five Edison men hiking through the Apshawa Preserve, a … State wildlife officials are assisting with the investigation. Find NJ.com on Facebook. Darsh Patel was 22. A 22-year-old man was killed by a black bear in New Jersey's Apshawa Preserve on Sunday, according to police. In September 2014, 22-year-old student Darsh Patel was mauled by a 300-pound (140 kg) black bear in the preserve and died. Follow him on Twitter @SethAugenstein. The five stopped when the bear was 300 feet away, Storbeck had said. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. The phone was later recovered with a puncture mark from the animal's teeth, according to investigatory records. 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. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. The pair warned the larger group about a bear following them. 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 - … 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. More stories on. 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