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Man photographed bear before death

A hiker killed by a bear earlier this year took a series of photos of the animal with his mobile phone before it mauled him to death.

Police in West Milford, New Jersey, have released five photos taken by 22-year-old Darsh Patel before he was killed by the black bear, which weighed more than 21 stone, while hiking with four friends in the Apshawa Preserve, 45 miles north-west of New York, in September.

The photos show the bear behind a fallen tree in the woods. Investigators say the phone was found with puncture marks from the bear.

The photos were released after NJ.com filed an open records request.

West Milford police and the state Environmental Protection Department said last month that the bear did not seem interested in food and exhibited "stalking type behaviour".

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