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Uruguayan motorcyclist spent four months lost in the Andes eating rats to survive after his bike broke down

MOST motorcyclists have some story or other about their bike breaking down at a particularly inconvenient moment. But a Uruguayan man has one that’s worse.

The 58-year-old survived on a diet of rats and raisins for four months after his 200cc motorcycle broke down in the Andes.

Raul Fernando Gomez Circunegui was found emaciated and weak on the floor of a shelter at 9,318ft.

Raul set off in May to cross the mountains from Chile to Argentina. He continued on foot after his bike broke down but got lost in a heavy snow storm and temperatures of -20C.

When the dad-of-three was found by officials who were recording snow levels, he’d lost three stone. He was airlifted to safety by helicopter after dragging himself to the shelter door to alert his rescuers. 

He told his rescuers he’d survived by eating rats he’d managed to trap, along with supplies left in the shelter.

At hospital in Argentina yesterday his daughter Patricia said: “He’s doing well and is delighted to have been rescued. It’s a miracle.

“Dad’s always been ­adventurous. I’m going to make sure he never does anything like this again.

"He’s got anaemia and he’s suffered ­dehydration but he’s going to be OK.”

San Juan Governor Jose Luis Gioja, who met Raul at hospital, said: “We can’t believe it.

"He was very excited but exhausted. He’s very thin, his bones are sticking through his skin.”

One rescuer said: “We were measuring snow levels when we saw Raul making hand signs to us. He was weak but totally lucid.

"He suffered hunger and anxiety but he kept his hopes up and was very happy to see us. The only thing he had left to eat was a bit of dried meat.”