14 Oct 2015

Lost hunter survived by eating ants

7:09 am on 14 October 2015

A hunter who was lost in the remote West Australian Goldfields for almost a week without water survived by lying under a tree for days and eating ants.

Reginald Foggerdy was found extremely dehydrated.

Reginald Foggerdy was found extremely dehydrated. Photo: Supplied/West Australia Police

Reginald Foggerdy, 62, was found on Tuesday morning by Tactical Response Group (TRG) trackers who had been looking for him for the past six days.

Mr Foggerdy had been on a hunting trip 170 kilometres east of Laverton on Rason Lake Road when he left the campsite he was sharing with his brother last Wednesday.

The alarm was raised by family members the next morning, sparking a land and air search.

Superintendent Andy Greatwood said Mr Foggerdy was found 15 km from his camp site and was not well.

"[He was] extremely dehydrated, a bit delusional, but he's received treatment, first aid, on the ground and it's fair to say he's now sitting up and talking, so it's looking very positive," he said.

"His last couple of days of survival were achieved by lying down under a tree and eating black ants, so that's the level of survival that Mr Foggerdy has gone to.

"[He had] no water whatsoever for six days."

Superintendent Greatwood said Mr Foggerdy had been hunting a camel when he became lost.

"He only had shorts and a T-shirt, a cap and thongs with him," he said.

"He didn't have any equipment. It was just the circumstances of how he had gone out taking off after a camel and then became disorientated and lost.

"[He had] fantastic survival skills.

"Obviously it will emerge how it did that and how he achieved that, but it's fair to say it's been extremely hot, extremely remote and most people would not have survived so he's done a fantastic job."

Last week local Indigenous trackers found a footprint of Mr Foggerdy's near the campsite which was the starting point for the initial search.

Police trackers had a breakthrough when Mr Foggerdy lost one of his thongs on Monday afternoon and began leaving more distinct footprints for them to follow.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service took Mr Foggerdy to a Kalgoorlie hospital this morning where he is being treated for dehydration and is in a stable condition.

'It's amazing'

Mr Foggerdy's wife Arlyn said she cried when she heard he had been found alive.

"How you can survive without water and food is a miracle," she said.

His sister, Christine Ogden, said she was "over the moon" to hear her brother had been found.

"He's not very well obviously, he needs a lot of medical intervention, but it's the best outcome we've had," she said.

"My concern was up and down; I'd feel like they'd find him one day and then they wouldn't find him the next.

"But I went to bed last night and said to myself they're going to find him today, and they did.

"His son is overwhelmed, he doesn't know how to respond. It's amazing."