Canadian survives wilderness ordeal on rotting meat

Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:00pm EST
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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - A Canadian paramedic survived 96 hours pinned under his all-terrain vehicle in the Rocky Mountain wilderness by eating rotting animal carcasses and drinking melted snow, a newspaper reported on Monday.

After fending off animals in the Crowsnest Pass area of southwestern Alberta for days, the man was rescued by hikers and taken to hospital, where he was being treated for frostbite and leg injuries, the Calgary Sun reported.

"He was stuck there for four days and three nights -- almost 96 hours straight," Troy Linderman, director of Crowsnest Pass EMS, told the newspaper.

During his ordeal, Ken Hildebrand made several attempts to pry the ATV off his leg with an axe, to no avail. He kept wolves and coyotes away by blowing an emergency whistle, the paper said.

Hildebrand was checking animal traps in a region about 130 km (80 miles) southwest of Calgary on January 13 when the ATV he was driving hit a rock and rolled over on his leg, Linderman said.

He stayed alive by eating the animals he had collected, although the rotting flesh made him sick.

Hildebrand's injuries are not described as life-threatening, but the leg that was pinned might have to be amputated, the paper said.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; editing by Rob Wilson)