A Rutgers student became the first recorded victim to be killed in a black bear attack in New Jersey history.
Darsh Patel, 22, was hiking with four friends over the weekend through the Apshawa Preserve, a heavily wooded area, Sunday afternoon when a 300-pound black bear began to follow them.
The group reportedly ran in different directions from the bear, which caught up to Patel and killed him. His body was found two hours later. Investigators believe it was hungry and searching for food.
Experts called the attack extremely rare...
"All black bears do not act this way."
"You have a better chance of dying on the way back on 287 than having this happen."
...But nearby homeowners say bear sightings are common.
"You're in bear country if you come up here to go hiking, you should be prepared. You should have air horns and bear mace. You are walking in their backyard."
Officials managed to track down the bear and they had to euthanize it.
There are only two other bear attacks on record since 2009. No one died in those cases, but one man suffered a head injury and dislocated shoulder.
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