Man Eats Rats To Survive Four Months


Raul Gomez Cincunegui

A man who disappeared in the Andes four months ago has been found alive after he ate rats and raisins to survive.

Raul Fernando Gomez Circunegui set off in May to cross the mountains from Chile to Argentina on foot because his motorbike broke down.

The 58-year-old Uruguayan then reportedly lost his way after becoming disorientated during a snowstorm.

Officials from Argentina’s northwestern province of San Juan stumbled upon Mr Gomez in a shelter 2,840m (9,318ft) above sea level when they travelled there to record snow levels.

Mr Gomez was able to hobble over and open the shelter’s door, alerting the crew to his presence.

San Juan Governor Jose Luis Gioja told the local Diario de Cuyo newspaper: “The truth is that this is a miracle. We still can’t believe it.

The Andes in Argentina
Mr Gomez lost 44lb during his time in the Andes

“We let him talk to his wife, his mother and his daughter … I asked him: ‘Are you a believer?’ He told me, ‘no, but now I am.'”

Mr Gomez told rescuers he ate sugar, raisins, rats that he trapped and the shelter’s leftover supplies to stay alive during the brutal winter.

But he lost 20kg (44lb) during the ordeal and is reportedly dehydrated, with photos of an emaciated, bearded Mr Gomez resting on a bed featuring prominently in a number of Argentinian newspapers.

Uruguayan newspaper El Pais said a doctor who examined him was surprised by his resilience.

“He’s a patient with high blood pressure, a history of smoking and signs of undernourishment,” the doctor was quoted as saying.

“But he’s going to be fine and in a few days we’re going to discharge him.”

In 1972, a plane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team to Chile crashed in the Andes.

Some of the survivors survived for more than two months by eating dead bodies.


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