Student Snaps Chilling Photo Of Black Bear Moments Before Fatal Mauling


A student once managed to capture a haunting photograph of a black bear mere moments before being attacked and killed by it.

Back in 2014, Darsh Patel, a 22-year-old student at Rutgers University, was on a hike with three of his friends in the Apshawa Preserve located in West Milford, New Jersey.

What should have been a peaceful walk to unwind from their studies turned into a tragedy as the group noticed a 300-pound bear trailing them.


As the bear came even closer to the group, Patel decided to grab his phone and take a few pictures of the approaching bear.

"They stopped and took photographs of the bear with their cellphones and the bear began walking towards them," stated a police report from that time.

When the bear got within 15 feet of them, the group scattered into the nearby woods, each running in a different direction.


According to Patel's friends, the last time they saw him, he was climbing a rock formation with the bear closely following him, as recorded in the accounts from that time.


Patel reportedly shouted at his friends to keep running away from the bear, and that was the last communication they had with him.

The three friends of Patel successfully regrouped without injuries, but they soon realized that Patel was missing.

They immediately contacted the police, who arrived swiftly at the scene.

After a two-hour search, the police discovered Patel's body with the bear lingering in the vicinity.


A necropsy later revealed that the bear had consumed human body parts and fragments of clothing.

Rutgers University, where Patel was a student, confirmed in a statement that he was a senior majoring in information technology.

The university's chancellor, Richard Edwards, remarked, "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."


The police at the scene had to shoot and kill the bear. Among Patel's belongings, they discovered his phone, which bore a bite mark from the bear's teeth.

Several weeks after the fatal incident, the West Milford police unveiled five pictures from Patel's phone. These images depicted the bear standing just 100 feet away from the hikers in the New Jersey woods.

In each successive photo, the bear seems to draw nearer to the hikers before they ultimately start running and cease taking pictures.


Officials stated that, at the time, they didn't believe the group had provoked the bear. However, they probably should have approached the situation by moving slowly and avoiding direct eye contact with the animal instead of running.