14 Febrero 2017 15:47
Five years ago, Anton Pilipa vanished from his home in Vancouver. He was recently found in the Amazon jungle after a journey of over 10,000 kilometres, most of which he apparently walked barefoot.
Pilipa's brother, Stefan, has said that Anton suffers from suspected schizophrenia. Shortly before he vanished in 2012, he had begun treatment for the condition.
It is believed that Anton travelled through at least ten countries – all without a passport – primarily by walking and hitchhiking. His goal was apparently to get to the National Library of Buenos Aires in Argentina. When he got there however, he was refused entry because he had no identification, so he decided to head into Brazil. During this period he survived by picking fruits and berries and begging for food.
After five years, his family had given up hope of finding him alive. 'I found myself being really frustrated all the time (during those years), always having that aching question: "Where is he? What happened to him?"' Stefan recalls.
In November, Brazilian police found him wandering barefoot and confused near Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas. He had no way of identifying himself. They took him to a hospital, but he escaped. Fortunately, they managed to find him again before he got too deep into the jungle: a place where he would be exposed to many dangers.
'I found myself being really frustrated all the time, always having that aching question: "Where is he? What happened to him?"'
'That is the area where we talk about huge predators like crocodiles and jungle cats,' said officer Helenice Campos. 'We were truly afraid he could be eaten by one of those animals.'
The same officer – one of the few who spoke English and could communicate with Anton – managed to get in touch with Stefan via Twitter. Stefan then flew to Brazil to be reunited with his long-lost brother. 'He looked really rough. His health was starting to deteriorate. We got him just in time.'
After everything he has been through, Anton feels fortunate at the way things have turned out. 'I know that I am very lucky to be alive,' he said. 'I am very happy to be able to return to my family,' he told BBC Brazil.
Before disappearing, Anton had been involved in an altercation and charged with assault and weapons offences. Upon arrival to Toronto, he was arrested before being released later in the day on bail. He has upcoming court dates to address the charges.
He is currently living with his brother and his family and recovering from his extraordinary adventure.
[Via The Telegraph]