A 72-year-old man survived being lost for 19 days in California's Mendocino National Forest after falling while hunting deer, and being knocked unconscious for some time. Gene Penaflor survived the often frigid ordeal by eating frogs, lizards and squirrels, according to CNN on Monday, Oct. 14.
The 72-year-old became separated from his hunting partner on Sept. 24, having slipped on a steep slope and knocked unconscious for an unknown length of time. Thankfully he was found on Saturday and taken to Ukiah Valley Medical Center.
When Gene Penaflor regained consciousness, he was weak and unsteady, but knew he had to do something to survive. Luckily he still had his hunting rifle by his side.
Knowing he didn't have the strength to hunt big game like a deer, he concentrated on the smaller fare such as snakes, frogs, lizards and squirrels.
During his 19 days lost in the woods, it snowed on multiple occasions, and temperatures dropped below freezing on some nights. He was finally located Saturday after another hunting party heard his cries for help.
Multiple search parties failed to locate him up until then. Penaflor was finally rescued and taken to the hospital in Ukriah, a town on the edge of the vast nature preserve in northern California.
Doctors checked him over and released him to his thankful family. Son Jeremy said, "He's good. He's hanging in there. He looks like nothing changed except he grew a beard".
Jeremy added the next time his father ventures into the woods, he's going with him.