A 30-year-old man in Bolivia miraculously survived 31 days alone in the Amazon jungle after he was separated from his hunting troop on Jan. 25.
According to numerous reports, Jhonattan Acosta was hunting with four others in Bolivia’s northern Baures region when he became lost. Acosta had minimal supplies; his only protection was a shotgun with a single cartridge inside.
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To survive the “nightmare” experience, Acosta told the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia that he ate insects and worms and drank rainwater collected in his boots. He also reportedly ate a regional papaya-like fruit, called “gargateas,” which he harvested when available.
Acosta told several media outlets that he encountered a number of wild animals throughout the 31-day ordeal, including jaguars, anteaters and alligators. He said he used the shotgun’s single cartridge to scare off a squadron of peccaries, a medium-sized pig-like mammal.
Acosta said he did not sleep for almost a week, as he needed to be alert in case a wild animal approached.
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It is not clear how he became separated from his hunting group. La Vanguardia reported the troop travelled 25 kilometres into the jungle in search of precious stones, but decided to hunt while they were in the area.
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Acosta was discovered by a group of four search party members on the evening of Feb. 25. Acosta was injured — he claims he dislocated his ankle on the fourth day in the wild — and had lost 37 pounds.
He reportedly spotted the family-led search party and shouted to get their attention while he limped through thorny bushes.
Acosta, who had little energy and injuries to his face and feet, was hospitalized.
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“It’s incredible, I can’t believe people kept up the search for so long,” Acosta said through tears, as per the BBC. “I thank God profusely, because he has given me a new life.”
Acosta’s family said he is “still psychologically bruised” from the experience. He has, however, given up hunting entirely. Instead, Acosta’s brother, Horacio Acosta, said he will play guitar.
“He is going to play music to praise God. He promised God that, and I think he will keep his promise,” Horacio said.
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