A hunter survived for six days by eating ants after getting lost in the Australian outback, and his story is now making international headlines. According to FOX Denver, Reginald Foggerdy, age 62, went on a hunting trip with his brother last week. The two were hunting in the Great Victoria Desert in Western Australia.
His story took a turn when he went off to hunt animals on Wednesday. At the time, he was wearing t-shirt, shorts, a cap, and flip flops. He was not dressed for a six-day journey in the desert. When he did not return to camp, a massive search by land and air began.
However, it took the assistance of local trackers to find him on Tuesday. He was dehydrated and slightly delusional when he was found. He had been without water for six days by that point. When he was found, he was lying under a tree.
Authorities revealed he was nine miles from his camp during the six days he was lost in the desert. Police Superintendent Andy Greatwood spoke with the local media about the discovery.
“His last couple of days of survival were achieved by lying down under a tree and eating black ants. That’s the level of survival that Mr. Foggerdy has gone to. He’s received treatment — first aid — on the ground and it’s fair to say he’s now sitting up and talking — so looking very positive.”
His wife was grateful that her husband was found alive. She told the local news media that, “How you can survive without water and food is a miracle.”
Outback survival: The moment this hunter knew he was going to live http://t.co/0HCD0qrdCV pic.twitter.com/x5Hgv5yQny
— Yahoo New Zealand (@YahooNZ) October 13, 2015
His sister also spoke to the media, and she had faith that the man would be found alive on Tuesday. BBC News shared her statement.
“When I went to bed last night, I said: ‘Tomorrow’s the day, they’re going to find him.’ I didn’t know which way it was going to go, but I just had this feeling.”
Authorities have stated that Reginald Foggerdy is lucky to be alive. According to 9 News, police had told the man’s wife and young son to prepare for the worst on Sunday because the likelihood of the searchers finding the man alive at that point was diminishing. It is only his knowledge and experience as a bushman that kept him alive.
The hunter spent the last two days of his experience under the tree he was found by, eating ants. Greatwood confirmed that the man had not drank a single drop of water during his six days of being lost. When he was found, he was given a drink, and then paramedics administered intravenous fluids. He was soon sitting up, but he was still airlifted to the hospital.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) October 13, 2015
The West Australian shared more details about the man’s story on Wednesday. Reginald had headed off to hunt two camels he had spotted. It was when he did not return to camp by the next morning that his brother called in the police.
Arlyn, Reginald’s wife, was elated when they found him. She spoke to him soon after his discovery, and the West Australian reported that his saying simply “hello” brought the woman to tears.
“He told me he was okay and not to worry. I was just so happy to hear his voice again. We had started to give up hope. I am very happy. I was so sad and now I am so happy. Thank you for the ants.”
As mentioned above in this article, a local tracker was instrumental in the man’s discovery. Robin Smythe was traveling with the searchers on Tuesday. Another man traveling with Smythe had met the brothers last week.
While Smythe was looking out of a car window, he spotted tracks that he said were made by someone wearing a thong or flip flops. He alerted the authorities, and they followed those tracks to the hunter’s location.
The Western Australian Police shared the man’s story and praised the team involved on their Facebook page. Family members of the hunter expressed their gratitude for finding the hunter alive.
In one comment, his daughter said, “Oh my god Dad [you’re] amazing I love you so much it hurts to see you like this but what an amazing outcome thank you all who looked for my dad I’m forever grateful and thankful.”
His family has now asked the man to carry a satellite phone with him when he goes hunting next. That might not be for some time after this experience, though.
A video from How Cast shared some tips on how to survive if you are lost in the desert.
“Avoid eating as much as possible. You can survive longer without food than without water, and the digestive process uses water. Minimize perspiration by relegating physical activity to nighttime. And keep your clothing on — it helps slow the evaporation of your sweat.”
What do you think of this man’s story?