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Man survives 6 days in Outback by eating ants

13 October 2015, 09:54

Perth - A 62-year-old recreational hunter lost in a hot and arid region of the Australian Outback survived without water for six days and by eating only ants, police said on Tuesday.

Reg Foggerdy left a car driven by his brother late Wednesday in pursuit of a camel in the Great Victoria Desert in Western Australia state, Police Superintendent Andy Greatwood said.

Police trackers found the former miner sitting under a tree on Tuesday morning 15km from where he became lost.

"He just spent the last two days under a tree eating black ants and that sustained him," Greatwood said.

"When we found him, he was extremely dehydrated, disoriented and basically delusional."

A paramedic immediately gave Foggerdy intravenous fluid and he recovered quickly.

"The good news is he was sitting up and talking," Greatwood said.

Foggerdy was airlifted by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to the Kalgoorlie Regional Hospital. Details of his condition were not immediately available.

The brothers had been driving back to their camp 170km east of the nearest town, Laverton, after a day's hunting when Foggedy went missing, wearing only a T-shirt, shorts, a cap and flip flops.

Temperatures reached up to 37°C, Greatwood said.

Greatwood would not speculate on how much longer Foggerdy could have survived.

"It was probably goodwill and a miracle that he survived as long as he did under those conditions with no water," Greatwood said.

Camels were brought to Australia in the 19th century as pack animals to pioneer the island continent's dry interior. Hundreds of thousands of feral camels now run wild in remote regions.

- AP

Tags australia

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