Tuesday, January 22, 2008

'Man survives four days in wilderness trapped by quad bike'

· Canadian considered eating own leg to survive
· Chance rescue by hiker ended 96-hour ordeal

Grisly Guardian story here.

A man has been rescued after spending 96 hours trapped under his quad bike in a remote Canadian district with nothing to eat or drink but rotting animal carcases and morning frost. Ken Hildebrand, a paramedic, even considered amputating and eating his own right leg to survive.

Hildebrand's ordeal began when he was checking animal traps in an area 80 miles southwest of Calgary and his quad bike hit a rock, throwing him off and settling on his legs. He made several attempts to get out from under the vehicle but did not have enough leverage to move it.

After four nights of constant harassment by wolves and coyotes, which he kept at bay by blowing a whistle, he began to accept that he might not be found before the cold, malnourishment or animals claimed his life.

Because of his medical training, Hildebrand knew that people start losing heat quickly from their upper body. He took a beaver carcass and used it to keep his body warm, with another as a makeshift windbreak and pillow. He tied orange surveyors' tape around his wrist and threw it at different angles to make an X shape so if anyone flew over the area, they would see him.

"It was time to get ready for survival mode," Hildebrand said. "I ate a lot of dirt to get a little moisture." By the second evening, he was so hungry he started to pick at the beaver bones. "I tried to eat pieces of that, but it made me sick." . . .

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