A student photographed a bear moments before he was chased and mauled to death by the animal in a New Jersey forest.
The chilling photograph, taken on Darsh Patel's mobile phone, shows the 300lbs black bear around 100ft away behind a fallen tree. The 22-year-old student from Rutgers University was killed by the same bear just a short while later, while his phone was recovered with bite marks from the animal's teeth.
Patel's body was recovered at the bottom of a ravine, with the bear circling the student's remains, records from the state Department of Environmental Protection revealed.
The bear, which was shot and killed by a police officer, was subjected to an autopsy, where human remains were found in its stomach and oesophagus, and human blood and tissue underneath its claws, NewJersey.com reported.
Patel was out walking with four friends in the West Milford preserve when they were warned by a pair of hikers about the bear. They ignored the warnings as they wanted to see the animal, who did not show any signs of acting aggressively, according to the rest of the group.
The five walkers took some photos and started walking away when the bear followed them. As the bear picked up its pace and closed the distance, the group split up. Patel was last seen climbing a rock formation and shouting at his friends to keep going.
Patel's death was the first confirmed instance of a person being killed by a bear in New Jersey, the regional website added.