A 62-year-old former miner who became lost in a hot and arid region of the Australian Outback survived without water for six days by eating ants, police have said.
Reg Foggerdy left a car driven by his brother on 7 October in pursuit of a camel he was hunting in the Great Victoria Desert in Western Australia state, but did not return. His brother alerted authorities and eventually police trackers found him nine miles from where he disappeared.
“He spent the last two days under a tree eating black ants, and that sustained him,” said Police Superintendent Andy Greatwood. “When we found him, he was extremely dehydrated, disoriented and basically delusional.” After being given intravenous fluid, Mr Foggerdy was airlifted by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to hospital, where he is now said to be stable.
The brothers were driving back to their camp 110 miles east of the nearest town, Laverton, after a day’s hunting, when Foggedy set off after the camel, wearing only a T-shirt, shorts, a cap and flip-flops in temperatures that reached 37C.
“It was probably good will and a miracle that he survived as long as he did under those conditions with no water,” Supt Greatwood said.
Camels were brought to Australia in the 19th century as pack animals and hundreds of thousands of feral camels now run wild in remote regions.
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