A Bolivian man who said Tuesday that he disappeared alone in the Amazon rainforest for a month recounted eating insects and worms, collecting water in his boots and drinking his own urine to stay alive.
If confirmed, this could make 30-year-old Jhonatan Acosta one of the Amazon’s longest-lived lone survivors.
“It helped me a lot to know about survival techniques: I had to eat insects, drink my urine, eat worms. I was attacked by animals,” he told Unitel TV.
Acosta was reported missing by his family at the end of January. He had been on a hunting trip with four friends in the Amazon rainforest, but became separated from his group on 25 January.
Exactly one month later, last Saturday, he was found by search and rescue teams. Earlier this month, officials enlisted a specially trained dog named Titan to help search for Acosta, the station reported.
Acosta told Unitel that it rained half the time he was lost. He used his rubber boots to collect all the rainwater he could collect.
But when the skies dried up, he said he had to drink his own urine.
“I asked God for rain,” Acosta recounted.
“If it hadn’t rained, I wouldn’t have survived.”
Disoriented, he walked about 25 miles in search of civilization, Acosta said, but soon discovered he was going in circles.
Exposed to the elements at night, he said he was bitten by all sorts of different creatures.
His sister, Miladde Acosta, told Unitel TV that her brother “had to fight a pig, which is a wild and dangerous animal” and a tiger lurked nearby.
“I’m very happy and grateful,” Acosta told the TV station after being reunited with her family.
In another well-known case in Bolivia, Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg survived three weeks in the Amazon in 1981, a feat that inspired the movie “The Jungle” starring Daniel Radcliffe.
In Brazil, pilot Antonio Sena survived 38 days in the Amazon after crashing in 2021. The following year, two siblings aged 7 and 9 were rescued after spending 25 days lost in the Brazilian side of the rainforest. The BBC, citing local media, reported that the two boys told their parents they had eaten nothing while lost and had only rainwater to drink.