Those were the only six pictures taken by the group, said Ricciardi. A New Jersey man met an untimely fate while hiking through the Apshawa Preserve. The bear was in the area, authorities said. 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. 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. Darsh Patel was walking with four friends through the Apshawa Preserve in West Milford in September when the black bear attacked. "There was a bear that was circling the area that would not leave the victim. The couple walked away, leaving the group of five to talk about what they were going to do. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. 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. 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 … 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. Eventually, a police officer shot and killed the bear. 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 … 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. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. 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. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? 53979. In 2014, a 22-year-old Rutgers University student, Darsh Patel, was hiking with four friends in the Apshawa Preserve in … Emergency responders came upon Patel’s body about four hours later. 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. 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. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. Description. The preserve is a cooperative project of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation (NJCF) and the county of Passaic. WEST MILFORD, N.J. – Authorities believe a 300-pound black bear attacked and killed a hiker in a North Jersey nature preserve. - This story was first published in November 2014. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. Welcome to the Apshawa Preserve! Apshawa's mixed hardwood forest is dominated by oak and sugar maple. 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. The Apshawa Preserve is a 576-acre natural area used for hiking and bird watching. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Apshawa Preserve. Read our full mailing list consent terms here. An autopsy showed that Patel was mauled by the bear. Black bears were virtually eradicated from New Jersey by the 1960s, but have since rebounded to a population of about 2,500. Apshawa Preserve; Search. 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. 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 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. Nature & Wildlife Areas. Facebook Share. He was the first known person in New Jersey history to be killed by a black bear. 0. 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. 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. They eventually walked farther into the woods. In September 2014, 22-year-old student Darsh Patel was mauled by a 300-pound (140 kg) black bear in the preserve and died. However, just before he met his demise, he snapped photos of his killer with his cell phone. Please continue to following the guidelines put forth by the CDC, including social distancing, limiting group sizes, and wearing masks when appropriate. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. The New York Post reports that Darsh Patel was walking with four friends through the Apshawa Preserve in West Milford in September when the black bear attacked.. The hikers turned around when the bear kept approaching, authorities said. A black bear has attacked and killed a hiker in a New Jersey nature preserve. WEST MILFORD — The hiker who was killed by a bear in September took pictures of the animal just before the attack. Apshawa Preserve: The friends were hiking when Darsh was attacked (Image: syvwlch / Flickr). Bear attacks on humans are rare, but can be deadly. Typically, black bears are not aggressive and tend to flee from humans, according to the New Jersey DEP website. In a statement, the mayor of West Milford said the entire circumstances of the deadly encounter will be reviewed. State wildlife officials are assisting with the investigation. 7 Reviews #2 of 6 things to do in West Milford. 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. Authorities say a black bear attacked and killed a hiker in a northern New Jersey nature preserve. 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. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. 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*. ... How old was the bear? Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? 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. Rutgers student Darsh Patel, 22, … Seth Augenstein can be reached at saugenstein@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SethAugenstein. Find NJ.com on Facebook. Gallery: Suspected bear attack kills Edison man at West Milford nature preserve. 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 … The 22-year-old student became the … 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. Authorities say the first known fatal bear attack in New Jersey was unprovoked and the bear was acting in a 'predatory' manner. Darsh Patel, 22, a Rutgers University student, was hiking with four friends on Sunday when the group encountered the 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. 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 - … West Milford Officials and representatives from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection called a press conference to discuss the suspected fatal bear attack. The death of Patel was the first confirmed instance of a person being killed by a bear in New Jersey. All rights reserved (About Us). 22 … Human remains were found in the bear’s stomach and esophagus, and human blood and tissue were found underneath its claws, authorities said. More stories on. Darsh Patel was 22. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? A bear at the scene was euthanized. 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. The powerful creature followed the hikers, causing them to scatter in fear, the police said in a statement. The phone was later recovered with a puncture mark from the animal's teeth, according to investigatory records. Patel was in his final year at Rutgers University, where he had majored in information technology and informatics. 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. As the bear got to within 15ft the group ran off in different directions. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. 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. The pair warned the larger group about a bear following them. West Milford police … at November 21, 2020. by Christy Pepple. The 576 acre Apshawa Preserve is located in West Milford in the heart of the NJ Highlands region. But the bear caught up with them, eventually closing to within 15 feet, investigators said. The group of four fled the woods and called 911, according to police records. A New Jersey university student was killed after being mauled by a black bear while hiking, in what officials called an extremely rare attack. 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. "It just kept lingering, it kept trying to circle back around, so at that time is when the officer shot.". 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