Chinese man ate bamboo to survive five days lost on mountain he climbed in a T-shirt

The 26-year-old resorted to a panda’s diet after ‘rash’ decision to explore peak in Chengdu without supplies, following row with his mother

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 May, 2018, 4:25pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 May, 2018, 4:25pm

A man has been rescued from the highest peak in China’s “panda capital” after five days of subsisting on bamboo and spring water to survive.

Zhou Bo, a first-time mountaineer, was discovered on Xiling Snow Mountain, in Chengdu in southwest China’s Sichuan province, by a local farmer last Saturday afternoon after four days of fruitless rescue operations, state-funded media site ThePaper.cn reported on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old was found conscious but exhausted under a tree on the mountain, which reaches 5,364 metres above sea level, and was recovering in hospital, the report stated.

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He had drunk spring water and used rocks to dig out and eat bamboo shoots – the staple diet of giant pandas. Chengdu is home to China’s main giant panda research centre.

According to the report, Zhou ventured onto the mountain – the location of China’s largest ski resort – alone last Monday, after an argument with his mother, Yu Fang.

After becoming lost that evening, Zhou, wearing a short-sleeve shirt, sought refuge in a cave, having taken no hiking equipment or food with him.

“My phone didn’t have any signal, and the rain was coming down harder,” he was quoted as saying afterwards.

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“I thought I would still be able to get off the mountain, which is why I didn’t call the police at first.”

Zhou was forced to call the police the following morning, with his phone battery running low and the mountain cloaked in heavy fog.

The police responded by sending about 180 search and rescue personnel onto the mountain, but rain and fog severely limited visibility.

On the fifth day, a farmer who had gone to collect herbs found Zhou, who no longer had the strength to walk, according to the report.

Zhou was quoted as saying that he had read books and watched videos about mountaineering but had no prior experience of it, and that he had acted impulsively and would not be so rash in future.