TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On May 5, a 55 year old man surnamed Chiu (邱) and his faithful dog went hiking in the mountains of Jianshi (尖石) in Hsinchu County, only to become lost for nearly seven days.
Chiu was discovered by a rescue team dispatched by the Hsinchu Fire Department on the evening of May 11, and was escorted down the mountain the next day, after almost an entire week lost in the mountainous wilderness.
The man reportedly told his rescuers that him and his dog were only able to survive for seven days thanks to a large bag of peanuts he had carried with him.
He started out on May 5 by hiking to the summit of Jinping Mountain (錦屏山). After it was discovered he had not returned by May 6, a search and rescue party was dispatched that day to search possible routes he might have taken.
The man’s original food supply was depleted on his second day lost in the woods.
A bag of peanuts he had brought as long as a snack ended up becoming his only food source during his ordeal. He maintained some strength by eating 20 a day, and gave his canine companion over a dozen each day as well.
Liberty Times reports that the total search operation involved 55 people, five vehicles and a helicopter.
He was eventually discovered in a small valley near the uppermost tributary of the Jinping River (錦屏溪). Upon discovering the man and his dog in their makeshift shelter, the rescuers first prepared a warm meal for Chiu, to help him regain some strength.
Because he was discovered in the evening, the rescuers camped with him for the night, before assisting him on the hike down the mountain the following day, Saturday, May 12. He was safely on his way home by 6:00 p.m. that evening.
Chiu expressed his extreme gratitude to the rescuers, telling them that he thought he would never be able to return home. He was moved to tears the moment he saw the rescue team lead by firefighter Ma Mingyi (馬明義) appear in the woods before him.
The man also credited his dog with keeping him alive, saying if it weren't for his dog, his spirit would have given up and he would have succumbed to his dire circumstances, reports Liberty Times.
Chiu (center left) and the squad of rescuers, safely exiting the mountains (Image from Hsinchu County Govt.)