A photographer who spent 17 days trapped in a Colombian jungle has told how he suffered hallucinations after drinking his own urine to survive.
US citizen Jeshua Kaslo had been visiting the area of Paramo Pan de Azucar – just two hours from the Colombian capital Bogota, in the Colombian department of Valle del Cauca – with several friends when he became separated from the group.
He had gone to take photographs and look for a drone the group was flying, but was only prepared for a one-day hike with no camping gear or food.
Following a large-scale search operation involving police teams, firefighters, sniffer dogs, and drones, Kaslo was found after 17 days and was treated at Hospital San Antonio, in the municipality of Guatavita, in the department of Cundinamarca.
After his ordeal, the photographer told local media that he had tried to call his friends when he became separated from them, but got no reply.
Before his phone battery died, he was able to send a message to the local authorities alerting them that he was lost.
While waiting to be found over the coming days, Kaslo said he had to come to terms with the harsh elements and near-freezing temperatures at night.
He explained: “It was dark and I went into some kind of river and fell. It was horrible because the water was very cold. I got out of the water and said ‘I have to spend the night here’.”
He said he used his clothes to make shelter and massaged his feet and exercised to keep warm.
Kaslo also said that he tried to stay awake as much as possible, adding. “My mind was programmed that I couldn’t fall asleep, because if I fell asleep I would die. ‘I fall asleep, I freeze and I die’.”
The situation led to hallucinations, and he explained how he “saw a cow and some figures in the distance” before they quickly disappeared and he realised he was alone in the Colombian jungle.
Faced with dehydration, he said he had to drink his own urine to survive.
After being lost for 17 days, Kaslo had the idea to switch the battery from his drone to his mobile phone.
He said: “I sat down and touched the drone controls and it beeped. I looked and it had a battery. I came up with the idea of swapping the battery from the drone to my phone.”
Kaslo then sent his location to the local authorities and was found around 12 hours later, thanking God for giving him strength during his ordeal and keeping him alive.
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