Bugs save pest controller s life

July 31, 2008 12:00 am

, SYDNEY, July 31 – An Australian pest controller who got lost in the desert while prospecting for gold survived by turning for help to the bugs he usually kills and eating them.

Theo Rosmulder, 52, managed to stay alive in the harsh West Australian desert for five days by knocking the tops off termite mounds and "getting stuck into them", The Australian newspaper reported.

"It’s quite funny that the things that I kill to make a living are the things that kept me alive," said Rosmulder, who was eventually found by Aboriginal trackers.

Police said the part-time prospector was in a "particularly good condition for the ordeal" when he was found about 10 kilometres (six miles) from his group’s campsite about 130 kilometres north of Laverton.

Rosmulder had been prospecting for gold with his wife and four other people in the desert scrubland when he failed to return to the group at a pre-arranged time last Friday.

They raised the alarm that night and a search was launched. Rosmulder, who lives in the town of Yarrawonga in Victoria state on the other side of the country, had no food, water or matches, police said.

Rescuers and Rosmulder were losing hope when aboriginal trackers finally found him near noon on Tuesday.

"Mate, I was just ecstatic," he said after leaving Laverton Hospital where he had recuperated from his ordeal.

"When they found me I just fell on the ground, I collapsed, it all just came too much at once."

Despite his protein-rich diet of termites, Rosmulder said he was very weak and had already chosen a shady hollow to "lie down and call it quits" before he heard rescuers calling his name.


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