- A Vietnamese man who lived in the jungle for four decades has died of cancer at the age of 52.
- Ho Van Lang first fled to the jungle in 1972 with his father after half of his family died in the Vietnam War.
- He returned to civilization eight years ago and was diagnosed with liver cancer last year.
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Ho Van Lang returned to civilization in 2013 after he spent his entire life in the dense Vietnamese jungle with his father, Ho Van Than.
The duo was persuaded to return to their village after Than’s health deteriorated. He died in 2017, aged 86.
Lang and Than first retreated to the jungle in 1972 after a US bomb killed half their family during the Vietnam War. They spent 41 years farming corn, surviving off plants and wild animals, and living in a timber hut five meters off the ground.
According to a friend, explorer Alvaro Cerezo, Than had a profound phobia of leaving the jungle “as he did not believe the Vietnam War was over,” First Post reported.
When father and son did emerge from the jungle eight years ago, they were wearing loincloths made of tree bark and had made little human contact.
Lang, who was two years old when his father fled to the jungle, only knew a few words of the local Cor language. He was also unaware that women existed, Cerezo said.
In his final years of life, Lang decided to stay in his home village and lived next door to his brother, working on a farm and forming a close bond with his nieces and nephews.
In November last year, the 52-year-old was diagnosed with untreatable liver cancer. He died on Monday, with his family by his side.
Cerezo said that he believed Lang’s death was hastened due to poor diet and the stresses of modern society. He said Lang started “eating processed foods and sometimes even drinking alcohol,” according to First Post.