- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
Gene Penaflor, a 72-year-old California man went hunting for deer with a friend in Northern California last month. The two got separated and Penaflor was lost in the woods. He was missing for 19 days before he was found Saturday. He survived by eating lizards, squirrels and algae.
Penaflor and his friend went hunting on Sept. 24 and separated in an attempt to flank a deer to capture it, reports CNN. But when his friend returned to the camp, Penaflor did not. He had blacked out. When he woke up, he didn’t know how long he was unconscious, but he used his survival skills to stay alive in the Mendocino National Forest for nearly three weeks.
CBS News reports that 20 agencies searched for him, but after a storm moved into the area, they called off the search. However, Penaflor kept hoping that he would be found.
“To keep himself warm, he gathered up dry leaves and slept underneath it, and he also ate squirrels, some lizards, snakes and algae from the water to survive,” his son, Jeremy, told CBS.
Another search party went out Saturday morning, but it was a group of hunters who happened to hear Penaflor yelling for help. They used a makeshift gurney from their jackets to carry him all the way to a nearby hospital.
Jeremy told CNN that when they met his father at the hospital, there were no words, just hugs and tears. “If he decides to hunt in a couple of years, that's fine,” he said. “But we joked around and said let's make it a camping trip.”