According to the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday, a 72-year-old San Francisco man was recovering Sunday after he spent 19 days lost in a remote canyon of Mendocino County, surviving on squirrels, lizards and berries, and wrapping himself in leaves and grass to stay warm.
Gene Penaflor had been missing since Sept. 24 when he didn't meet up with his hunting partner for lunch, sheriff's Detective Andrew Porter told the Ukiah Daily Journal. Nearly 20 agencies spent four days looking for Penaflor. But with a storm moving in and no sign of the missing hunter, the search was called off.
On Saturday, a group of hunters in the area reported they heard someone in a canyon calling for help. Using the hunters' GPS coordinates from their cell phones, search-and-rescue teams headed for the wooded, rugged site in the Yuki Wilderness.
He said he sustained himself on squirrels, lizards, a snake, berries and algae. To keep dry and warm from the rain and snow, he crawled under a large log and covered himself with leaves and grasses, authorities said. He saw deer but didn't have the energy to shoot them, Porter said.
The the hunters who rescued Penaflor created a makeshift stretcher from coats and poles and headed into the canyon to rescue him. They were carrying Penaflor up the hillside when they met the search-and-rescue crews, who called for a helicopter to transport him to a hospital.
Penaflor's son, Jeremy, told the Daily Journal his father was in good condition after being airlifted to Ukiah Valley Medical Center. After learning that Penaflor had gone missing, his family had been staying in the town closest to his hunting camp.
Emily Sutherlin is also the Pregnancy Examiner.
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