Thursday 20 June 2019

'The only option I had was life or death' - lost yoga instructor ate moths to survive in forest hike ordeal

Relieved: Amanda Eller is recovering from injuries. Photo: Reuters
Relieved: Amanda Eller is recovering from injuries. Photo: Reuters

Julie Allen

A yoga instructor lost for more than two weeks in the wilds of Hawaii has revealed that she ate moths as she struggled to survive.

Amanda Eller (35) spoke for the first time this weekend about her ordeal, saying she almost gave up hope.

Ms Eller spent 16 days lost in the Makawao Forest Reserve on Maui after losing her way during what was meant to be a quick 5km hike.

She had left her mobile phone and water bottle behind in her car.

After several days of wandering helplessly, her plight became worse when she fell seven metres into a ravine, breaking her leg.

Speaking from her hospital bed 24 hours after she was spotted by a search and rescue helicopter hired by her frantic parents, she said: "I wanted to give up.

"But the only option I had was life or death. I heard this voice that said, 'If you want to live, keep going'."

Once she broke her leg, she began to crawl instead of walk, she said, adding: "I was getting so skinny I was really starting to doubt if I could survive."

Julia Eller, her mother, said wild berries and a few moths were all that sustained her daughter. She tried to catch some crayfish but was "not very successful".

On the 17th day of her disappearance, she was spotted by an elated rescuer 6km away from the original search area. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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