A 30 year-old Bolivian man was found alive on February 5, after surviving for more than a month lost in the Amazon Rainforest. A rescue party found him trapped in a thicket of thorns and ushered him to a hospital in the village of Baures in Iténez Province, 150 miles northeast of the city of Trinidad.
According to La Vanguardia, Jhonattan Acosta hiked 15 miles with friends into the Amazon to hunt, make nature videos, and search for gemstones. While hunting, he became separated from the group. He spent the next month trying to find his way out of the jungle, doing whatever he had to do to survive.
Acosta told Unitel TV that he sustained himself on insects and wild fruit. He drank rain water, collecting it from leaves and storing it in one of his rubber boots. At times when it didn’t rain, he drank his own urine.
Acosta dislocated his ankle on the fourth day. He said he didn’t sleep for the first week and was tormented by insects every night. He walked miles during the days, local media outlets reported, only to realize he’d been going in circles. Along the way, he encountered peccaries, caiman, anteaters, and jaguars.
Acosta, who was without a flashlight or a machete, did have a shotgun, but he only used it once to scare off peccaries that attacked him and tore off one of his boots. One morning, he awoke to find that there were jaguar tracks around where he was sleeping, he explained to Radio Panamericana. He also saw human footprints and feces and said he believed that members of an un-contacted tribe were protecting him from predators.
By the end of his ordeal, Acosta had lost over 35 pounds. With a sunburned and swollen face, he told Unitel TV that he had been bitten by an uncountable number of insects, suffered extreme hunger and thirst, and was only beginning to feel oriented to reality four days after his rescue. But he was extremely grateful to have survived the nightmare. “I thank God profusely,” he said, during the television interview. “He has given me a new life.”