Father, son missing for 40 years found living in forest

08 August 2013 - 12:10 By Sapa-dpa
Lowland rain forest like this example in Danum Valley, above, is shrinking fast - bad news for species like the red leaf-monkey, below left.
Lowland rain forest like this example in Danum Valley, above, is shrinking fast - bad news for species like the red leaf-monkey, below left.
Image: DUNCAN BUTCHART

An 82-year-old man and his 41-year-old son were found living in a forest in central Vietnam after they went missing during the country’s war with the United States, an official said Thursday.

The older man could communicate a little in the Cor ethnic minority language, but his son only knew a few words, an official at Tay Tra commune in Quang Ngai province said on condition of anonymity.

Ho Van Thanh was last seen running into the woods with his then-infant son Ho Van Lang after a bomb exploded in his home, killing his wife and two other children in 1973, newspaper Dan Tri reported.

They were discovered when two people from a nearby village ventured 40 kilometres into the forest looking for firewood and spotted the two men’s treehouse. The villagers reported the find to local authorities who recovered the pair on Wednesday.

The two men survived by cultivating forest vegetables and hunting animals. They had no contact with the outside world, the report said.

Photographs in local media showed the younger man with dishevelled hair wearing a loin cloth made from tree bark.

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