Darsh Patel and one of his fellow hikers captured pictures of the bear that had been stalking the group before mauling Patel to death inside the Apshawa Preserve in West Milford.

Picture of black bear inside the Apshawa Preserve in West Milford taken by Darsh Patel before it fatally attacked him (West Milford Police)

Police have released the photos showing the bear about 100 feet away from the group of four friends, according to The Record. The group had been warned about the bear by a couple on the trail.

The New Jersey Department of Fish & Game determined that the hikers ran off in different directions as the bear moved toward them during the September incident. Patel was missing when they regrouped. His friends -- who were not injured -- called police when they realized he was missing.

A search team found Patel's body, which showed signs of a bear attack. Police then shot and killed the 302-pound bruin, which was about 30 yards away from the body and circling. The bear would not leave the area, even after officers tried to scare it away by making loud noises and throwing sticks and stones. It eventually was killed with two rifle blasts.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.