In an extraordinary tale of survival, a 72-year-old man went against all odds to survive in a forest for three days. Leonard Barry Weller, a British resident, went on an exploration on Tuesday but never returned, according to ABC news. It was then that his Thai partner Tawee Chaisanrit alerted the authorities, galvanizing a giant rescue operation.
While the search mission was still ongoing, a local hunter came across the British pensioner in a remote part of the forest located in Thailand’s Khon Kaen province. Speaking to media outlets, Nattapat Tadee, one of the rescuers disclosed that the elderly was asleep on a giant rock formation after climbing atop of it to see a route out. Later, Weller also described his ordeal stating that he did not eat anything but survived for almost 72 hours just by drinking water from a puddle using grass as a straw.
@ukinthailand missing British person near 159/6 Nongtae. Baandong. Ubolratna. Khonkaen 40250 (Thailand) last seen on motor scooter 1300 local 31 Aug he is my dad and called Leonard Barry Weller. pic.twitter.com/0D5ZE7Qcyp— Nathan Weller (@Bazweller) September 1, 2021
A video of the rescue surfaced online and shows Weller, donning an open shirt and shorts, walking out of the forest. Asserting that his feet were sore from cuts, he thanked the rescuers and said that they were doing a “good job”. He also asserted that he was “wonderfully happy” to have come out of his nightmare. He also hugged his partner Chaisanrit tightly while his eyes welled up.
“Yes, I am wonderfully happy. I have never been so happy in my life,” Weller was quoted as saying by AP. “My feet are sore, otherwise I am happy. Hot. I just admire the work these people are doing. It makes me cry. They are doing a good job.”
“Thank you everyone. Thank you to all the teams who kept fighting along with me,” Chaisanrit added, holding her hands together in a traditional Thai gesture of respect.
Recently, a similar story of survival featuring a female Alaskan hiker, who traced her way back home two days after she was chased off-trail by bears, went viral and people around the world are praising her. According to Alaska News Source, 55-year-old Fina Kiefer was hiking alone on the 13.6-mile long Pioneer Peak Trail when she had run with a pair of bears. The wild encounter pushed her off her route and she lost contact with others.