In Bolivia, a man says he survived alone in the Amazon rainforest for a month by eating insects and worms, collecting rainwater in his boots and drinking the water as well as his own urine. If confirmed, 30-year-old Jhonatan Acosta would have set a record for one of the longest struggles for survival in the Amazon.
Acosta was reported missing by his family in late January after being separated from his four companions on a January 25 hunting trip in the rainforest. Exactly one month later, last Saturday, he was finally found by search parties.
“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 on Tuesday. In the meantime, he had come very close to pigs and big cats. At night he was also bitten by all sorts of animals. Acosta was therefore surprised himself that he had survived. He is now mainly concerned about the health consequences of possible poisoning. "I'm not sure how many bugs bit me," he said in an interview.
Acosta claims to have lost 17 kilograms and reported that it had rained for half the month. He used his rubber boots to catch as much rainwater as possible. "I asked God for rain," said the 30-year-old Bolivian. "If it hadn't rained, I wouldn't have survived." When the rain stopped, he drank his own urine.
In order to return to civilization, he walked about 40 kilometers through the rainforest without direction, Acosta reported. But he soon realized that he was running in circles. In everyday life, Acosta grows cocoa and is therefore familiar with the rainforest.
In 1981, the Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg had survived three weeks in the Amazon rainforest in Bolivia. His experiences were later filmed, starring British actor Daniel Radcliffe. In 2021, pilot Antonio Sena survived a crash landing in the Amazon for 38 days in Brazil. In 2022, two brothers, aged seven and nine, were rescued after spending 25 days in the Brazilian rainforest.