Missing 72-year-old man found alive
October 14, 2013
A 72-year-old hunter missing in the Mendocino National Forest for 18 days was found alive on Saturday.
After separating from a hunting buddy, Gene Penaflor of San Francisco fell and hit his head. He awoke hours later in a canyon. [DailyNews]
Penaflor stayed where he was, near a creek, and survived on a diet of lizards, squirrels, berries and snake. To protect himself from freezing temperatures and snow flurries, he built a fire, covered himself in leaves and burrowed into a log.
Mendocino County Search and Rescue began searching for Penaflor on Sept. 2, but called the search off on Sept. 28.
On Saturday, a group of hunters heard his cries for help, assembled a makeshift stretcher using their coats and poles, and carried Penaflor to the top of a hill where a helicopter was able to safely lift him to safety.
Penaflor was treated at a medical center and released.