- Amanda Eller was found after more than two weeks of being lost in a forest in Hawaii.
- She planned to go for a short three-mile run before going off-trail.
- Eller slept in a wild boar’s den and covered herself with ferns to sleep, and ate strawberry guavas and moths to survive.
- She was ultimately found by three rescuers who spotted her from a helicopter.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
After 17 days of being lost in Hawaii’s Makawao Forest Reserve, Amanda Eller was was found by a pair of rescuers.
Weeks ago, Eller had planned to go on a three-mile run from her home. The physical therapist and yoga instructor went off-path, lost her way, and got trapped in a forest full of unruly vegetation and steep cliffs.
Eller left her phone, wallet, and water bottle in her car,she told the New York Times, because she had planned to run for only a short amount of time.
While her intuition told her she was getting closer to where she came from, she found herself deeper in the forest. By the third day of being lost, she began to focus on finding water and surviving instead of trying to find her way back home.
“I was getting so skinny that I was really starting to doubt if I could survive,” she told the Times.
On one night, she said, she slept in a wild boar’s den. For others, she covered herself in mud and ferns to shelter herself. Her shoes, set beside her to dry, washed away in the rain as she slept.
To survive, she ate raspberries, strawberry guavas, and even moths that landed on her body, she told the Times and KHON, a local news station.
Rescuers scoured the forest’s ravines from the ground and from helicopters. Some volunteers killed wild boards and searched through their guts for human remains.
Three rescue workers – Troy Helmer, Javier Cantellops, and Chris Berquist – found Eller deep in the forest. They had just 15 minutes’ left of fuel in their helicopter but flew to a spot miles away from where everyone else was searching on a whim. She was airlifted to an airport and taken to the Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment.
Eller’s doctor, Zora Bulatovich, said she expects her to make a recovery. She fractured a bone in her leg and her lower extremities have a skin infection.
“It came down to life and death and I had to choose. I chose life,” Eller said in a statement from her hospital bed. “I wasn’t going to take the easy way out. Even though that meant more suffering in me for myself.”
- Read more:
- A yoga instructor who went missing while hiking in Hawaii has been found in ‘surprisingly good shape’ 2 weeks later
- A 17-year-old German boy went to Malta on vacation. His body came back without its organs, and his father embarked on a 2-year journey to find out how his son died.
- Severed human feet keep washing up on shores along the US-Canada border, but police insist there’s nothing weird about it
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.