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Black bear kills a man in NJ

Rusty Spinner

Active member
It is a sad story if completely true. It is sad for many many reasons. There is a strong part of me that still thinks something else was going on.

You're not the first person I've seen question this on the 'net. What is it you fear happened? You don't strike me as the typical conspiracy theorist. So far the facts all point the same direction. Guys hiking in bear country where bears aren't hunted inside an enclosed fence (that I have since learned is routinely maintained), with food on them, followed by a young male bear (responsible for most human attacks), with panicked hikers running and this one guy breaking away from his 4 buddies and triggering an attack response from the bear.
 

mob201

Joe's Hopper
My guess is the kid ran, the bear chased him, and at the wrong moment the kid decided to switch from defense to offense. It's hard for me to imagine a Jersey black bear running down and killing an adult human. (Unless the bear was rabid, in which case, all bets are off.) It's also hard for me to imagine a male black bear standing his ground to fight if a group of humans acted aggressively toward him from the start. Black bears know they're faster than us, and they don't want trouble. Maybe sending mixed signals did the kid in.

Anyway, call him a citidiot, but what percentage of Jersey college students do you think actually knows how to behave when they encounter a bear? I feel bad for his friends and family. Just tragic misfortune is all it is.
 

Oliver10

Profishional Cupcake
You're not the first person I've seen question this on the 'net. What is it you fear happened? You don't strike me as the typical conspiracy theorist. So far the facts all point the same direction. Guys hiking in bear country where bears aren't hunted inside an enclosed fence (that I have since learned is routinely maintained), with food on them, followed by a young male bear (responsible for most human attacks), with panicked hikers running and this one guy breaking away from his 4 buddies and triggering an attack response from the bear.

You make a lot of good points.

I went to college in Easton Pa. I drank with my friends. We went hiking pretty often for college kids. Jacobsburg and at a stretch we would go to Merrill Creek and do the big loop. 9 times out of ten there was at least one female with us. The places we chose to hike were close to home.

The fact that 5 college age guys decided to drive a long way without ladies to go for a hike when there are plenty of other places closer is what really made me think something was off. People have been inappropriately making fun of the victims culture. I don't know much about other cultures maybe this sort of behavior in normal for college kids from that background these days.

Maybe there is a good reason why they chose to hike there. Maybe there was booze involved? Maybe it was a pre mediated murder? I just feel in my gut that something else was going on other than 5 young men went for a walk in the woods and one got eaten.
 

Trout Guy

Brookie's or Bust!
Anybody hiking should carry a bear deterrent spray. Especially where high populations are known..

I always carry my bear deterrent, in .40cal that is..
 

tompg

Flyfisherman
conspiracy? doubt it. They were in a nice place to hike. people do this all day every day. I've seen the trails. Well maybe the conspired to go for a walk. The rest seems like a tragedy of mistakes to me.

This is from the record:

“He loved outdoor activities,” said Sooraj Patel, adding he wasn’t surprised to hear his friend had been hiking. “He was a type of person who brought people together and always took advantage of life to try new things.”
 

Rusty Spinner

Active member
There have been at least 60 documented black bear attacks ending in fatality of humans in the last 100 years. This isn't a one time deal. And that is fatalities, not attacks. There are numerous attacks each year in the US by black bears on humans. Black bears are the one bear where you should always fight back. That often ends the attack. The authorities know if this guy fought back or not based on wounds he received if he wasn't too eaten by the time they found the victim and the bear. Yes, this bear did begin to eat this young man and not just kill him.
 

Trout Nazi

And...Boom goes the dynamite.
You make a lot of good points.

I went to college in Easton Pa. I drank with my friends. We went hiking pretty often for college kids. Jacobsburg and at a stretch we would go to Merrill Creek and do the big loop. 9 times out of ten there was at least one female with us. The places we chose to hike were close to home.

The fact that 5 college age guys decided to drive a long way without ladies to go for a hike when there are plenty of other places closer is what really made me think something was off. People have been inappropriately making fun of the victims culture. I don't know much about other cultures maybe this sort of behavior in normal for college kids from that background these days.

Maybe there is a good reason why they chose to hike there. Maybe there was booze involved? Maybe it was a pre mediated murder? I just feel in my gut that something else was going on other than 5 young men went for a walk in the woods and one got eaten.

There is nowhere to hike near Edison. Round Valley or Chimney rock do not count. I know everyone on the interwebs would love to find out that they were somehow taunting or antagonizing the bear so that they can justify making fun of the dude, but that may not be the case here. It may be a simple matter of the bear realizing that 130lb kid is easy food.
 

Rusty Spinner

Active member
Anybody hiking should carry a bear deterrent spray. Especially where high populations are known..

I always carry my bear deterrent, in .40cal that is..

And of course what Trout Guy meant was, "carry at your own risk" because both are illegal. Pepper spray in a tiny container is legal, but not in the amounts they recommend to thwart a bear attack. ;)
 

Trout Nazi

And...Boom goes the dynamite.
Anybody hiking should carry a bear deterrent spray. Especially where high populations are known..

I always carry my bear deterrent, in .40cal that is..

You need to increase the size of your deterant by.05, then you'll have the big boy version.
 

Oliver10

Profishional Cupcake
Exactly where in that article does it say that the authorities are having a hard time with part of their stories? Am I missing something here?

I am speculating here. If the story is so clear cut. 5 guys go hiking and get chased by a bear. One dies and they find the body with a bear eating it why do you need to look for more witnesses? Why do you need to make a public plea for people in the preserve to come forward?

The quote from the article is 3/4th down.

"Ricciardi said it’s possible the other hikers can shed light on why the incident happened."
 

Trout Nazi

And...Boom goes the dynamite.
I am speculating here. If the story is so clear cut. 5 guys go hiking and get chased by a bear. One dies and they find the body with a bear eating it why do you need to look for more witnesses? Why do you need to make a public plea for people in the preserve to come forward?

The quote from the article is 3/4th down.

"Ricciardi said it’s possible the other hikers can shed light on why the incident happened."

Or it could be that when someone is killed, and its relatively high-profile like this, the police will do absolutely everything possible to rule out any other cause of death or extraneous factors, so that they don't get embarrassed if something comes out in the future. They may also want to know why a rare incident like this occurred. Pretty sure that Kelcey Burgess (who is an awesome dude btw, I helped him tranq, tag, and take samples from a bear once) would like to know what factors in behavior or environment lead up to this.
 

Oliver10

Profishional Cupcake
Or it could be that when someone is killed, and its relatively high-profile like this, the police will do absolutely everything possible to rule out any other cause of death or extraneous factors, so that they don't get embarrassed if something comes out in the future. They may also want to know why a rare incident like this occurred. Pretty sure that Kelcey Burgess (who is an awesome dude btw, I helped him tranq, tag, and take samples from a bear once) would like to know what factors in behavior or environment lead up to this.

Agreed! I am curious to see what the necropsy brings...rabies or some other disease.
 

FIN-ITE 34

Active member
The chances of getting struck by lightning are extremely small, yet a goodly number of people in the US are struck by lightning every year. With the number of human/bear encounters in NJ each year the question is not if there will be a death associated with these encounters, but when.
You walk in the woods that has bears, there is not a great probability that you will even see a bear, but there is the possibility, remote as it may be, that you will be killed by a bear. It's a big wild animal that when encountered by a human without the human carrying a gun puts the bear at the top of the food chain.
Here is a video you might want to watch.
Black Bear Stalks Terrified Joggers! - YouTube
 

Rusty Spinner

Active member
The police have to do a full and complete investigation when any human is found dead. The local PD (I have close friends on that department that I grew up with) are just doing their job. There have been reports or rumors about this bear possibly following other hikers earlier in the day. They just want to gather all the facts before they can say the investigation is over.

This is a normal procedure, not a conspiracy.

And keep those pea-shooters at home and carry a .44 mag for God's sake! :)
 

Rusty Spinner

Active member
I'm curious to see who the family sues first.

There's no case there. If there were, it would only be against Passaic County who owns the land. But there is no case. Land is posted as bear country with signs telling hikers what to do if they encounter a bear. What more can you do? State has a bear hunt and doesn't own this land (which doesn't allow bear hunting). Nobody else could be at fault. You can't sue God if you get hit by lightening, correct? :)
 

Oliver10

Profishional Cupcake
There's no case there. If there were, it would only be against Passaic County who owns the land. But there is no case. Land is posted as bear country with signs telling hikers what to do if they encounter a bear. What more can you do? State has a bear hunt and doesn't own this land (which doesn't allow bear hunting). Nobody else could be at fault. You can't sue God if you get hit by lightening, correct? :)

Don't be so sure.
 

Drossi

If they can't take joke .....'em
There's no case there. If there were, it would only be against Passaic County who owns the land. But there is no case. Land is posted as bear country with signs telling hikers what to do if they encounter a bear. What more can you do? State has a bear hunt and doesn't own this land (which doesn't allow bear hunting). Nobody else could be at fault. You can't sue God if you get hit by lightening, correct? :)

I wouldn't be so sure. Passiac County, NJDFW, and the other hikers could possibly get sued if some idiot lawyer convinces the family that there is a case here. I mean shouldn't the "state" be protecting its citizens from wild animals.
 

Oliver10

Profishional Cupcake
you mean...not creating a hazardous nuisance. They knew or should have known fencing in (limiting the animals ability to wander to access to food during tough times) a bear population, not allowing hunting (keeping bear population high and not afraid of humans) and then allowing the general population to wander around carrying food would lead to a mauling or death?

Basically it will get framed as the State/land owners fencing in dangerous wild animals letting them grow their population to above carrying capacity and then when they are under nourished allowing hikers to wander around. ....But for the State/Land owners negligent behavior, building the fence and restricting hunting and not putting other viable population controls in place, the bear would have been amply nourished and not attracted to hikers with food.

The more I write it out the more of a slam dunk case it sounds to be....For 150 years people in NJ and bears have interacted with no human deaths. Now in the short X years since NJ artificially and negligently fenced in a population of bears and allowed them to reproduce uncontrollably a young man has paid with his life.
 

Oliver10

Profishional Cupcake
Imagine the cross again of the witness for the State.

Lawyer for the Victim (LFV): "Why did you erect a fence around the preserve?"
Witness for the state (WFS): "to protect the wildlife."
LFV: So your goal with the fence was to keep out poachers and allow the wildlife inside to flourish?"
WFS: "Yes, exactly"
LFV: "Did you maintain the fence?"
WFS: "yes we repaired any breaches promptly"?
LFV: You allowed the public to hike in the nature preserve?"
WFS: "of course the public should enjoy the natural world"
LFV: Did you expect to succeed in helping the wildlife in the preserve flourish?"
WFS: "Why of course we spent considerable money and time building and maintain the fence"
LFV: "If you thought you were going to succeed if getting the wild life to flourish what plans were in place to keep populations in check?"
WFS: "Well natural predators should keep the ecosystem healthy"
LFV: "What are the natural predators of bears?"
WFS: "uhhhh old age famine"
LFV: "So with the bear population flourishing and no predators besides old age one could say that the population in the preserve was artificially high?"
WFS: uhhh in a natural habitat the population reaches a carrying capcity with the land and since we protected the land the population would limit it self.
LFV "You have to admit that there are times when all the elements in nature align and food sources are plentiful for a while and the population of certain animals rises.
WFS "Yes"
LFV " When nature changes and food is scare what happens?
WFS " animals starve or they move to new unexploited feeding grounds.
LFV" Your fence restricted the movement of the animals
WFS "Yes
LFV" So it was evitable in your fenced in preserve that at some point animals would reproduce to the point of starvation?
WFS" I guess that is correct, but it is all part of nature"
LFV" Your fence was not part of nature:
WFS "we were trying to protect the animals"
LFV " You raised dangerous animals in a protected environment with no plan to supplement their food sources during lean times and restricted their ability to roam to find more.
WFS " I would not put it like that...
LFV" after you starved caged animals you then opened the door and invited the public in.
WFS" We wanted to help nature..
LFV "Next witness"
 

emoussa

New member
you mean...not creating a hazardous nuisance. They knew or should have known fencing in (limiting the animals ability to wander to access to food during tough times) a bear population, not allowing hunting (keeping bear population high and not afraid of humans) and then allowing the general population to wander around carrying food would lead to a mauling or death?

Basically it will get framed as the State/land owners fencing in dangerous wild animals letting them grow their population to above carrying capacity and then when they are under nourished allowing hikers to wander around. ....But for the State/Land owners negligent behavior, building the fence and restricting hunting and not putting other viable population controls in place, the bear would have been amply nourished and not attracted to hikers with food.

The more I write it out the more of a slam dunk case it sounds to be....For 150 years people in NJ and bears have interacted with no human deaths. Now in the short X years since NJ artificially and negligently fenced in a population of bears and allowed them to reproduce uncontrollably a young man has paid with his life.

I think we found the idiot lawyer..

btw, that entire preserve is by no means fenced in. Only a small section is near the entrance and the areas bordering homes.
 

Simms

New member
Can I get the cliff notes on this?


Imagine the cross again of the witness for the State.

Lawyer for the Victim (LFV): "Why did you erect a fence around the preserve?"
Witness for the state (WFS): "to protect the wildlife."
LFV: So your goal with the fence was to keep out poachers and allow the wildlife inside to flourish?"
WFS: "Yes, exactly"
LFV: "Did you maintain the fence?"
WFS: "yes we repaired any breaches promptly"?
LFV: You allowed the public to hike in the nature preserve?"
WFS: "of course the public should enjoy the natural world"
LFV: Did you expect to succeed in helping the wildlife in the preserve flourish?"
WFS: "Why of course we spent considerable money and time building and maintain the fence"
LFV: "If you thought you were going to succeed if getting the wild life to flourish what plans were in place to keep populations in check?"
WFS: "Well natural predators should keep the ecosystem healthy"
LFV: "What are the natural predators of bears?"
WFS: "uhhhh old age famine"
LFV: "So with the bear population flourishing and no predators besides old age one could say that the population in the preserve was artificially high?"
WFS: uhhh in a natural habitat the population reaches a carrying capcity with the land and since we protected the land the population would limit it self.
LFV "You have to admit that there are times when all the elements in nature align and food sources are plentiful for a while and the population of certain animals rises.
WFS "Yes"
LFV " When nature changes and food is scare what happens?
WFS " animals starve or they move to new unexploited feeding grounds.
LFV" Your fence restricted the movement of the animals
WFS "Yes
LFV" So it was evitable in your fenced in preserve that at some point animals would reproduce to the point of starvation?
WFS" I guess that is correct, but it is all part of nature"
LFV" Your fence was not part of nature:
WFS "we were trying to protect the animals"
LFV " You raised dangerous animals in a protected environment with no plan to supplement their food sources during lean times and restricted their ability to roam to find more.
WFS " I would not put it like that...
LFV" after you starved caged animals you then opened the door and invited the public in.
WFS" We wanted to help nature..
LFV "Next witness"
 
btw, that entire preserve is by no means fenced in. Only a small section is near the entrance and the areas bordering homes.

So the dialogue in court would've gone more like this?:

Imagine the cross again of the witness for the State.

Lawyer for the Victim (LFV): "Why did you erect a fence around the preserve?"
Witness for the state (WFS): "We didn't."
LFV: "oh....Nevermind."
 

tomfly

The only thing left should be foot prints.
I have encountered a few bears while fishing the Flatbrook. I always play by the rule, "be aware of what is going on around you at all times". You have to when you are in bear country. I always hold my ground and look right at them. That usually stops them in their tracks. I have never had one come at me. I can see why this bear was embolden. He was not challenged. The second mistake was they ran. Predators can smell fear and if you give the notion to the bear that you are prey. He is going to treat you like prey,
 
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