Bear kills student

A NEW Jersey university student was killed after being mauled by a black bear while hiking, in what officials called an extremely rare attack.

Darsh Patel, 22, and four friends encountered the bear on Sunday inside the Apshawa Preserve, about 40 miles (64km) north-west of New York City.

The bear was circling Mr Patel when officials found the student’s body. Police killed the bear at the scene.

The state has one of the highest black-bear densities in the nation but no human has been killed by a bear since 1852, Reuters news agency reports.

Any bear attacks on humans are unusual, experts say.

“It is definitely rare,” said Lawrence Hajna, the state’s environmental protection department spokesman.

Mr Patel and his friends were hiking in the preserve on Sunday when they saw the bear following them.

The group split up but when they regrouped, Mr Patel was missing.