Rutgers student dies after bear attack

(Source: Mark Watson / Flickr/ MGN Online)
(Source: Mark Watson / Flickr/ MGN Online)

A four-year-old black bear weighing in a 299 pounds killed a 22-year-old Rutgers student who was hiking in a Northern New Jersey nature park on Sunday.

This marks the first bear attack on a human leading to death in New Jersey.

Darsh Patel and four friends were hiking at the nature preserve when they came upon the black bear.

Police are saying the group became frightened and ran away, possibly provoking the bear.

Three members of the hiking group were able to get away, but Patel was separated.

A search crew later found Patel. He had been mauled by a bear and had bite and claw marks on his body.

Authorities say the bear, which was still near Patel, was put down.

The bear is now at a lab where it will be studied to determine if it had rabies and a necropsy will be performed to find out why it attacked Patel.

Kelsey Burguess, a black bear biologist with the New Jersey Department of Fish, Game, and Wildlife, says it is very rare for a bear to have rabies. He says the bear could have just been looking for food.

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