Bear Henry says they survived more than 70 days lost in a remote Vancouver Island forest on a few days worth of beans, rice, some cat food and melted snow.
Henry is about 30 kilograms lighter than when they left Nov. 27 to find a camp in the Fairy Creek area where people were protesting old-growth logging.
Henry, who is a two-spirit Indigenous person and uses gender-neutral pronouns, says they spent their days napping, daydreaming and trying to stay sane in their van, while hearing search helicopters on the other side of the mountain.
The food ran out when the first snow came about mid-December, but Henry says they remembered the advice of an uncle who said to stay in one place if you were lost.
When Henry finally did decide to leave, they walked for 15 hours before a pair of forestry workers drove down the logging road.
The forestry workers recognized Henry as a person reported missing since November and each handed over $20 when they dropped Henry at a coffee shop in Lake Cowichan.
“Ever day, I was so scared to get out of my van. Every day I wondered if someone would come and attack me. No one could hear my scream. No one knew where I was. Every day it was just terrifying,” Henry told reporters on Friday.
“I saw bear scat and I was like, ‘Bear gets killed by bear in the woods.’ It made me laugh.”
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