A 22-year-old New Jersey man was attacked and killed by a black bear over the weekend, authorities announced Monday. Darsh Patel of Edison, N.J., was hiking with four friends on Sunday afternoon in the Apshawa Preserve, about 40 miles northwest of New York City, when the attack occurred.
According to Reuters, the group scattered after realizing they were being stalked by a bear. Patel did not join the others when the hikers regrouped. His body was found two hours later.
The West Milford Township police department released a statement that said the evidence indicated he had been mauled by a bear. The four-year-old bear weighed about 300 pounds, and was euthanized at the scene by a West Milford police officer.
This is an extremely rare event as black bears are typically non-aggressive toward humans.
Black bears can be found statewide in New Jersey, with the highest concentration being found north of I-80 and west of I-287 (where the preserve is located).