Om my God! Lost yoga teacher ate moths to survive 17-day ordeal
Amanda Eller recalls her traumatic experience in a Hawaiian forest, fracturing her leg and even sleeping in a boar's den
A yoga instructor who was lost for more than two weeks in the wilds of Hawaii has said she ate moths as she struggled to survive.
Amanda Eller, 35, has spoken for the first time about her ordeal, saying she almost gave up. She spent 16 days wondering the Makawao Forest Reserve on the island of Maui after becoming lost during what was meant to be a quick 5km hike. So quick, in fact, that she had left her cellphone and water bottle behind in her car.
Speaking to The New York Times on Saturday, 24 hours after she was spotted by a search helicopter hired by her frantic parents, she said from her hospital bed: “I wanted to give up. But the only option I had was life or death.
“I heard this voice that said, ‘If you want to live, keep going’.”
After several days’ tracking in an area inhabited by wild boars, Eller fell 6m into a deep ravine and fractured her leg. Weak and injured, she began to crawl instead of walk.
“I was getting so skinny that I was really starting to doubt if I could survive.”
Julia Eller, her mother, told local news outlets that wild berries and a few moths were all that sustained her daughter. She tried to catch some crayfish but was “not very successful”.
Julia added: “She lost quite a bit of weight, as you can imagine, being lost for that amount of time. But she was able to survive it. She had the right skills and did the right things to buy time so we had a chance to find her.”
One night, Eller took shelter in a boar’s den. She covered herself in leaves and mud to stay warm. On the 17th day of her disappearance she was spotted by an elated rescuer 6.5km away from the original search area. The local fire crew went in to retrieve her. She was sunburnt and malnourished.“I looked up and they were right on top of me,” said Eller of the moment she saw the helicopter. “I was like, ‘Oh my God’, and I just broke down and started bawling.”– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)