72-Year-Old Man Lost In Sweltering Thai Jungle Survived Off Rainwater For Three Days
A 72-year-old man has been rescued from the Thai jungle after spending three days lost among the trees.
British pensioner Leonard Barry Weller had been travelling on a motorcycle to see friends when he became lost in the Khon Kaen province, northeastern Thailand on September 1.
The 72-year-old had parked his motorcycle to walk up a hill in the jungle, but when he forgot how to get back he ‘just kept on moving forward’.
A search party was sent out the following day after Weller’s wife, Tawee Leonard, became worried that she had not heard from him and contacted the police.
In an effort to find his way out of the jungle, the 72-year-old climbed a tree to get a better view of the land, but a monsoon rainstorm prevented him from finding a path to safety and he was forced to spend the night in the jungle, which is home to deadly snakes and bears.
As the search party initially failed to find him, Weller survived by using a piece of grass as a straw through which he could drink rainwater collected in puddles. He went without food and did his best to stay hydrated as temperatures reached 35°C.
See footage of Weller’s rescue below:
Recalling his first night in the jungle, Weller explained: ‘It was getting dark so I made a leaf bed to sleep on, and when I was thirsty I drank rainwater from rock crevices.’
On September 3, two days after he first went missing, Weller was found by a local hunter and forager who spotted the pensioner with cuts on his legs and no shoes. Locals called the police, after which a rescue team was able to bring the elderly man to safety.
Upon being reunited with his wife, Weller said: ‘I’m wonderfully happy, I’ve never been so happy in my life. My feet are sore, otherwise I’m happy. I’m hot but fine. I just admire the work that these people are doing, it makes me cry. They’re doing a good job.’
Weller had been living in Thailand for around 15 years before he became lost, explaining he had been driving on an unfamiliar route and was unable to find any local villagers to ask for help.
Leonard, who is from Thailand, commented:
My husband and I have been living together for three years. He likes to travel alone to different places but he always comes home at the end of the day.
The day he went missing, my husband said that he was taking the motorcycle with him to see the beautiful scenery of the sugarcane fields and paddy fields. I became worried when my husband was not home at midnight so I asked for help from the police station.
Weller was taken to hospital for a check-up after being found, but aside from his sore feet and scratched legs, he was unharmed.
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