Black Bear Kills a Hiker
Over the weekend, a 22-year-old Rutgers University student was killed in a black bear attack. Darsh Patel, 22, along with his four friends was rock climbing on Sunday in the northern part of New Jersey.
Police in West Milford said that while hiking, they encountered a bear, which started following them. Patel's friends told police that all of them started running in different directions. After a while, all the four friends of Patel found each other, but Patel could not be found.
His friends called the police for help. Around two hours later, the police found the bear circling around Patel's body. Wildlife officials were of the view that the bear might have been hungry and looking for food. They further stated that it is not rare to see a bear in the woods of northwestern New Jersey. But what is extremely uncommon is a bear attack on humans.
As per the police, it is the first such recorded death since 1850s in New Jersey. State Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Lawrence Ragonese said that the incident can be summed up as it was just 'wrong place, wrong time'.
Police also said that the group did not have experience in the woods, which increased their difficulties. Officials do not think that the group provoked the bear. They showed their inexperience when they decided to run. Authorities concerned warned that one should never run from a bear. Ragonese suggested to slowly back off rather than running.
"This group ran into an aggressive bear. Their response to it probably was wrong, but it's a response that many people, probably myself, would have", stated Ragonese. If anyone encounters a bear, the best way is to stay calm; make the bear aware of your presence; do not make eye contact, as bear may consider it as a challenge and ensure bear has an escape route.
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