Australia

Australia's 'ant man' says he was lucky not tough

Police find a missing man Image copyright Western Australia police
Image caption Affectionately dubbed by Australian media as 'Ant man', Reg Foggerdy said he thought no one would find him

A 62-year-old Australian man, who says he survived without water by eating ants while lost in the Outback for six days, has spoken of his ordeal.

"I wouldn't say I'm tough...just lucky", said Reg Foggerdy who disappeared last month while hunting a feral camel in Western Australia.

Police trackers found him sitting under a tree on 12 October, around 15km (9 miles) from where he went missing.

A diabetic who recently had a heart attack, he said he had given up hope.

"I've heard of people dying after three days with no water, I don't know why I survived six days," he told 7News.

Image copyright WA POLICE
Image caption Police used a remote shack as a command base during their search

"There was a piece of me that wanted to lie there and pass away. I was thinking of my family who would see me laying there."

Wearing only a T-shirt, shorts, a cap and flip-flops, Mr Foggerdy became disorientated in the fierce heat of the desert after chasing the camel.

'They tasted quite good'

He said he poked a stick into an ants nest and ate the insects for nutrition, a tactic he said he learnt from British survival expert Bear Grylls.

"They tasted quite good. On the first day I had about 12 and on the second day about 18. If they want to call me ant man I don't care," he said.

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Media captionChristine Ogden said she was "relieved" her brother had been found after six days missing in the Outback

The retired miner said he spotted police search helicopters several times, mustered all his energy to wave his hat at the sky, but rescuers could not see him.

In the end, a local Aboriginal man provided police with the vital clue - Mr Foggerdy's slipper print.

After coming so close to death, he says that he has a new lease on life.

But asked whether he would return to the site of his ordeal he replied: "I might go back and look for me gun".

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