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Lawmakers Say Murphy’s Recklessness Contributed to Bear Attack in Sussex County

Phil Murphy for Governor 34430924982

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Senator Steven Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space and Assemblyman Hal Wirths (all R-24) say an early evening bear attack in Sussex County this week that landed a local resident in the hospital underscores the risks created by Governor Phil Murphy’s decision to halt bear hunting in the state.

Continue reading Lawmakers Say Murphy’s Recklessness Contributed to Bear Attack in Sussex County

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911 recordings after bear attack reveal badly injured Scoutmaster, calm kids


file photo of a Ridgewood bear
By Ben Horowitz | NJ Advance Media for
on December 28, 2015 at 5:52 PM, updated December 29, 2015 at 7:12 AM

ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP — Emergency calls received by Rockaway Township police on the day a Boy Scout leader was attacked by a bear in Splitrock Reservoir in Rockaway Township reveal an anxious, injured man and a calm child reporting the incident.

Recordings of 911 calls, obtained by NJ Advance Media under an Open Public Records Act request, show that when Scout leader Christopher Petronino of Boonton Township called on Dec. 20, he was too injured to move.

Asked how injured he was, Petronino replied, “pretty bad … I can’t move at all now.”

“I’m sorry about all this,” the victim said, and the dispatcher told him not to be sorry, asking him where he was bleeding.

Petronini said the bleeding had “subsided” but he was still bleeding from the left arm, left leg, neck and head.

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Bear attacks Boy Scout leader who entered Rockaway cave, authorities say


By Justin Zaremba and Marisa Iati | NJ Advance Media for
on December 20, 2015 at 4:24 PM, updated December 20, 2015 at 8:46 PM

ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP — The leader of a Boy Scout troop was attacked by a bear while leading three scouts through the woods Sunday afternoon, according to authorities.

The unidentified man was airlifted to Morristown Memorial Hospital with what authorities described as non-life threatening injuries, Rockaway police said in a statement.

Police were called to the scene around 12:26 p.m., when one of the scouts reported that the man had been attacked after entering a cave off one of the hiking trails surrounding the Splitrock Reservoir.

Local officers and firefighters were joined by a state police helicopter to search the 625-acre area straddling the Rockaway-Kinnelon border, using signals from a scout’s cell phone to locate the group, according to police.

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NJ Hiker Takes Chilling Last Photos That Show What Ended Up Killing Him


NJ Hiker Takes Chilling Last Photos That Show What Ended Up Killing Him


A New Jersey man met an untimely fate while hiking through Apshawa Preserve on September 21, and just before his demise, he snapped photos of the killer with his cell phone.

According to the New York Daily News, Rutgers University Student Darsh Patel was out on a hike through the West Milford nature preserve with four friends when he was fatally mauled by a 300-pound black bear. His cell phone was recovered after the attack, and along with having bite marks of its own, it had pictures of the ferocious creature on it as well.

Patel’s group had encountered a man and a woman who were leaving the preserve and warned them that there was a bear roaming the area and advised them to stay out, according to authorities. However, they failed to heed the couple’s warning, and they first came across the bear from about 100 feet away as Patel snapped his photos, but little did they realize it was stalking them.

As the bear approached, the group turned around and walked away, but the bear followed. It closed in on a distance of about 15 feet before the members of the group split up and ran in different directions, but only four were able to escape to call 911.

Unfortunately, it was too late. When the group last saw Patel, he was climbing a rock with the bear giving chase. They said Patel screamed for them to keep going.

When officers arrived at the scene, the bear was circling Patel’s body before they shot and killed it. Human remains were found in the stomach of the bear and in its esophagus, according to They also found human blood and tissue under its claws.

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Hikers warned not to walk in direction of bear before deadly West Milford attack


file photo Ridgewood School bear

Hikers warned not to walk in direction of bear before deadly West Milford attack

OCTOBER 8, 2014, 5:14 PM    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2014, 7:26 PM

WEST MILFORD — Shortly before a hiker was killed by a black bear in Apshawa Preserve, he and four companions had been warned by an oncoming couple that the bear had been shadowing them and the hikers should not proceed in that direction, township police  said Wednesday.

The five friends, all young men from Edison, discussed the warning but continued on the trail and came upon the bear, police said in a news release Wednesday. In the events that followed, one of the hikers was killed by the animal, authorities have said.

The latest account released by police is the first narrative of the moments leading up to the attack since the Sept. 21 death of Darsh Patel, a 22-year-old Rutgers student. The state Department of Environmental Protection says it’s the state’s first recorded fatality in a bear attack in more than 150 years.

Police Chief Tim Storbeck had previously said the hikers didn’t taunt the bear, but had not provided more detail.

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