Missing Man Survived for Month on Butterflies

Stephen Currie found 30 pounds lighter after month in Australia bush

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 30, 2014 7:43 AM CST

(Newser) – Stephen Currie has a fairly delicate creature to thank in part for his survival, having been stranded for a month in the Australian bush amid 100-degree temps. Three weeks after police gave up the search for the man who went missing Dec. 29 in northern Queensland, Currie, 40, was found wandering a trail Tuesday—more than 30 pounds lighter and without shoes or a shirt—having lived off butterflies, fresh water mussels, and wild fruit, after getting lost on a walk, the Courier Mail reports. "By all money I thought he was gone," says a senior constable. "It's unbelievable. I phoned his mother straight away."

With no food or water, Currie initially tried to follow a river back to town but again became lost, and was forced to sleep atop bark placed on sand. That river did, however, prove to be a saving grace, suspects one local, who says the recent lack of rain made other water sources bacteria-ridden and undrinkable. The constable explains that Currie went for a daily walk in search of a track to follow, and eventually came across a local. Currie is currently being treated for dehydration and malnourishment, the Brisbane Times notes. (Click for another tale of survival in the wild.)

A paper kite butterfly at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, in Coral Gables, Fla.
A paper kite butterfly at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, in Coral Gables, Fla.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
A view from Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
A view from Cairns, Queensland, Australia.   (Wikipedia Commons)
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