Eating only ants and with no water, a diabetic man survived the harsh Australian outback for nearly a week.
Reg Foggerdy was hunting camel in Australia, dropped his gear, and took off after one. After shooting it, he realized every backcountry hiker or hunter’s worst nightmare: he was lost.
In the coming days, he heard and saw searchers but could not get their attention.
Rescuers managed to find him just before he expired. For the first time, he’s spoken out about his experience.
Conventional survival wisdom holds the Rule of Threes: a human can survive three minutes without air, three hours without shelter (in harsh conditions), three days without water, and three weeks without food.
Reg Foggerdy, 62, clearly beat the odds.
As to how he might have survived six full days with no water, in the searing Australian outback, he credits eating black ants. Foggerdy remembered seeing Bear Grylls eat black ants on television, so he tried the same. The move that almost certainly played a part in saving his life has given him the nickname “Antman.”
There is a clear lesson here for hunters. Reg had shot a camel, and dropped his gear to pursue it, wearing only a short-sleeved shirt, shorts, and flip flops. This poor decision almost killed him.
He trailed the camel for miles, and when he found it, he realized he was completely lost. For days, he sat next to his quarry, but lacking a knife or lighter, could make no use of it.
Reg’s brother, Ray, began searching almost immediately. He fired his rifle, which Reg says he heard but could not locate. Ray then called in police. For three days, crews searched from air and ground, to no avail.
Reg saw helicopters, but could not get their attention. He grew weaker and weaker, and his body began to break down. He was ready to give up on the sixth day, and closed his eyes as his organs shut down.
However, in a miraculous turn of events, an Aboriginal tracker found a faint footprint in the dirt. It led police to Foggerdy within 12 hours, as he was still clinging to life.
After several days in the hospital, Reg is nearly back to normal. His brain has shrunken from the ordeal, but he still has a sparkle in his eye and a quick wit.
When asked if he would ever return to the Australian outback, he replied, “I might go back to look for my gun!”