Wildlife Officials Believe Rutgers Student Is First Victim of Deadly Bear Attack Since 1852

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A 22-year-old Rutgers student is believed to be the victim of the first black bear attack in New Jersey in over 150 years. 

Wildlife officials found the body of Darsh Patel in the Apshawa Preserve on Sunday. Patel was hiking with four friends over the weekend when a black bear, who officials believe was searching for food, found them. The friends split up as they ran from the bear, and when they couldn’t locate Patel, they called police.

Police found “the male bear was walking in a circle about 30 yards from the victim’s body and wouldn’t leave even after officers tried to scare it away by making loud noises and throwing sticks and stones,” according to Fox News. Officials killed the black bear with a rifle.

Patel is the second Rutgers student to pass away this week. Nineteen-year-old Caitlyn Kovacs died early Sunday morning after attending a frat party. Her cause of death is still being investigated.