Man found after 10 days lost in woods tells how he survived as he was ‘followed by mountain lion’

US

A man has been found after spending 10 days lost in a California wood.

Lukas McClish, 34, was last seen on the morning of 11 June near Big Basin Redwood State Park, around 14 miles north of Santa Cruz.

He was reported missing on 16 June, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.

Pic: San Mateo County Fire Department
Image:
Pic: San Mateo County Fire Department

The sheriff’s office said it received multiple reports of witnesses hearing someone yelling for help.

The force then used several drones to determine Mr McClish’s exact location.

State Parks rangers were the first to discover him and fire crews helped bring him to safety on Friday.

Mr McClish was only going for a three-hour hike before work when he got lost, he told local media.

“I didn’t bring anything because I thought I was doing a three-hour hike to go to work,” he said.

When Mr McClish got lost, he said he had only a flashlight and folding scissors.

“So, I kind of just hiked,” he added. “Each day, I go up a canyon, down a canyon to the next waterfall, sit down by the waterfall, drink water out of my boot.”

Pic: San Mateo County Fire Department
Image:
Pic: San Mateo County Fire Department

Mr McClish said he was “comfortable the whole time I was out there” and “wasn’t worried about it”.

“I had a mountain lion that was following me, but it was cool,” he added. “It kept its distances. I think it was just somebody watching over me.”

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Mr McClish drank water from creeks, ate wild berries and slept on a bed of wet leaves while yelling for help.

He said: “I want a burrito or a taco bowl. That’s what I thought about every day when I, after the first five days, when I started to kind of realise that I might be in over my head.”

Mr McClish had no major injuries and was reunited with his family.

“This truly was a team effort with the best outcome we could have hoped for,” the sheriff’s office said.

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