The bizarre disappearance of a 25-year old Chilean man in the Bolivian Amazon led to an even more bizarre story of survival.
Maykool Coroseo Acuña mysteriously vanished from a rainforest tour taking place in Madidi National Park without a trace, prompting park rangers to organize a search party.
“This is a really strange case for us,” Madidi Park Director Marcos Uzquiano told a reporter from National Geographic.
It was originally believed that the man had been hidden away in the rain forest by “spirits.” However, his story of being cared for by monkeys while he was lost was even more incredible.
After a week of searching, a sock belonging to Acuña was discovered; eventually, the lost tourist himself was found alive by guides, after surviving for nine days in the jungle.
“Maykool had been found in very weak condition; nine days in the rainforest had left him dehydrated, his skin ravaged by bites, botflies, and spines, his feet and ankles painfully swollen. But his mind was working just fine,” according to the report.
Incredibly, he was able to survive by following a group of monkeys, who dropped him fruit and lead him to shelter and water every day. Acuña claims he ran away from the camp for no apparent reason. Rescuers believe that spirits had driven him “temporarily insane and lured him into another dimension.”
However, Acuña said that he “doesn’t believe in shamanism or the cultures of the Bolivian lowlands — just in God.”
Acuña said that unrelenting mosquitos and hunger drove him to become more and more desperate. “Yesterday was when I really made a promise to God. And I got on my knees and I asked him with my heart to get me out of there,” he said, noting that the monkeys probably saved his life.
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