University Prez Survives 4 Days Lost in Swamp
Missing Colombian prof Francisco Piedrahita rescued in Louisiana
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2011 1:57 AM CDT
Updated May 27, 2011 3:00 AM CDT
Francisco Piedrahita's wife Claudia, left, gives him a kiss as he is transferred to a waiting ambulance as rescue and search team members wait in the background.   (AP Photo/The National Park Service via The Times-Picayune, Linda Friar)

(Newser) – A distinguished Colombian academic "became Rambo" to survive 4 days lost in Louisiana swamps, his sister-in-law says. Francisco Piedrahita, 65, a university president and renowned humanitarian, became lost during what was supposed to be a brief birdwatching jaunt in the vast Jean Lafitte National Park. Piedrahita, who had nothing to eat or drink during the ordeal, managed to avoid the snakes and alligators that abound in the area, the Times-Picayune reports.

Rescuers praised Piedrahita for doing what people lost in wilderness are supposed to do: Stay put. He spent most of the time knee-deep in mud on a small island in the middle of a swamp. Piedrahita, who was found exhausted, dehydrated, and covered in hundreds of insect bites, is recovering in a local hospital. "He is in surprisingly good shape after having been stuck in the swamp so long," says a doctor, who was surprised to hear that the professor had not had any survivalist training.

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May 27, 2011 7:40 AM CDT
Thats the last place i would ever want to try to survive. Matter of fact it's the last place i would go to get an outdoor experience. The mountains are the ultimate outdoor enviroment.
May 27, 2011 5:02 AM CDT
"But out there he became Rambo to survive." I beg to differ...if he really became "Rambo" to survive... He would have killed a croc... Ate it raw or gathered moss and twigs to start a fire to cook it. Using a sharp rock...made clothing out of its hide and moccasins for footwear. Made a homemade bow and arrow using its teeth for arrow heads Wrapped part of its hide around his head......(got to have a head band or hat to be Rambo) Used its oil to cover his skin for sun screen protection and eventually walked out of the park on his own. Hey....just saying...
May 27, 2011 3:29 AM CDT
"Time to drink my own piss."