A month in the jungle: Bolivians survived thanks to worms and urine

On a hunting trip, a Bolivian gets separated from his friends.

A month in the jungle: Bolivians survived thanks to worms and urine

On a hunting trip, a Bolivian gets separated from his friends. He can no longer find his way in the dense jungle. He manages to survive there for 31 days until he is finally found.

A 30-year-old Bolivian survived for a month in the Amazon jungle using a special technique. Jhonatan Acosta was reported missing by his family in late January. He was on a hunting trip in the Amazon rainforest with four friends and was separated from his group on January 25.

But it wasn't until a month later that search and rescue teams found him in the community of Baures, in the south-west of South America's vast rainforest. During that time he lost about 17 kilograms of body weight and sprained his ankle, but overall he was in surprisingly good shape.

"It was very helpful to know about survival techniques," the man told Unitel TV after his rescue. The 30-year-old reported that he ate insects, worms and tree roots. Acosta said it rained half the time he was missing. He used his rubber boots to catch the rainwater so he could drink it. When it stopped raining, he drank his urine and prayed for rain. "If it hadn't rained, I wouldn't have survived."

In the jungle area, the man had largely lost his bearings. He reported walking about 40 kilometers to find a settlement, but then realized he had been walking in circles. Wild animals also came dangerously close to him, especially at night. Among other things, he faced jaguars face to face.

His sister Miladde Acosta told Unitel TV that her brother "had to fight with a pig, which is a wild and dangerous animal" and that a tiger was lurking nearby.

"I'm very happy and grateful," Acosta told the broadcaster after being reunited with his family. Despite being missed for so long, his friends and family never gave up hope of seeing him alive. He was finally found because search parties heard him calling. Acosta said he heard their voices nearby and desperately tried to get their attention. Rescuers were initially scared, according to local media, because the 30-year-old looked very different from the man who disappeared a month earlier, holding a shotgun. Acosta was taken to the hospital for dehydration. He told local media that he was on the verge of losing hope when he was found.

If confirmed, Acosta would have set a record for one of the longest struggles for survival in the Amazon. In another well-known case in Bolivia, Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg survived three weeks in the Amazon in 1981 - a feat that inspired the film Jungle, starring Daniel Radcliffe. In Brazil, pilot Antonio Sena survived 38 days in the Amazon after crash-landing in 2021. The following year, two brothers, ages seven and nine, were rescued after going missing in the Brazilian rainforest for 25 days.