2 jungle men found after 40 years living in Vietnam forest


Updated : 08/08/2013 14:10 GMT + 7

Two people, father and son, who had lived in total isolation from society for 40 years in a remote jungle in central Vietnam have been brought back to normal life. To survive, they ate fruits, manioc and corn and only had loincloths made of tree barks. They even built a tree house.

They are Ho Van Thanh, 82, and his son, Ho Van Lang, 42, who were spotted by some locals while they were travelling in a deep forest in Quang Ngai Province in the province’s Tay Tra District.

Being very surprised by abnormal appearances, gestures and manners of the “jungle men”, these locals reported their finding to authorities of Tra Phong Commune.

The authorities set up a team to track them down, and after five hours of search in the forest, they on August 7 caught the father and son staying in a small hut built on some branches of a large tree.

The hut was about five meters from the ground and both men were dressed only in loincloths made of tree barks when they were found, the team’s members said. 

Due to being isolated from social contact for a long time, both father and son could only speak a little of the language of the Kor ethnic minority group.

After carrying out an investigation into the men’s identity, concerned agencies said that Thanh once lived a normal life with his family in the commune’s Tra Kem Hamlet 40 years ago.

But one day at that time, a bombing occurred in the hamlet, killing Thanh’s mother and two of his four children on the spot.

It is suspected that due to the shock, Thanh took his remaining son, 2 years old at the time, and ran away into the jungle. He and the son, now Ho Van Lang, had since lived their lonely life, without contact with anyone.

Their daily foods were fruits and manioc they found in the forest. It is assumed that they also planted corn for food.  

The district authorities have asked the local health agency to make medical check-ups for the father and son, the first in a process to re-integrate them into society.