Hiker Snapped Picture of Bear Seconds Before He Was Killed

WEST MILFORD, N.J. (AP) -
A bear lumbers toward Darsh Patel in New Jersey’s Apshawa Preserve. Patel was mauled to death by the bear shortly after the photo was taken. (AP Photo/ West Milford Police Department)
A bear lumbers toward Darsh Patel in New Jersey’s Apshawa Preserve. Patel was mauled to death by the bear shortly after the photo was taken. (AP Photo/ West Milford Police Department)

A New Jersey hiker killed by a bear in September took a series of photos of the animal with his cellphone before it mauled him to death.

Police in West Milford have released five photos taken by 22-year-old Darsh Patel before he was killed by the 300-pound black bear while hiking with four friends in the Apshawa Preserve.

The photos show the bear behind a fallen tree in the woods. Investigators say the phone was found with puncture marks from the bear.

Patel was the first person to be killed by a bear in New Jersey in more than 140 years.