A Chilean man who was lost in the Amazon rainforest for nine days says that he was saved by a group of monkeys who gave him food and led him to shelter.
Maykool Coroseo Acuna was camping in Madidi National Park in Bolivia with a tour company called Max Adventures, when he wandered off on his own and couldn't find his way back to the group.
According to a report by National Geographic, Acuna had been acting strangely prior to his disappearance. Park rangers were told that the camper had vanished from his cabin and was missing, somewhere within the confines of the park. A witness says that Acuna was last seen sitting on the steps of his cabin the night before he disappeared. The next morning, a tour guide went to check on Acuna after he failed to show up for a ceremony that he was supposed to attend with other campers, but he was gone with no traces left behind.
"This is a really strange case for us," Park Director Marcos Uzquiano told National Geographic. "We're not sure what happened last night, but we need to find out. It's possible that someone may be lying."
Feizar Nava, owner of Max Adventures, believes that Acuna's disappearance may have had something to do with the fact that he did not participate in the Pachamama Ceremony, which took place on the day that he disappeared. Nava says that those who disrespect Pachamama could be driven away by an evil spirit named Duende.
"For myself and the rangers, this is our culture," Uzquiano told National Geographic. "We believe that Duende is real. And we think it's possible that Maykool was taken by him."
The search for Acuna went on for days, but he was nowhere to be found. After six days, the only piece of potential evidence found was a muddy sock lying on the ground in the forest.
Spiritual shamans came to the camp to partake in rituals in an attempt to locate Maykool, whom they believe may be in another dimension.
Nine days after he disappeared, Acuna was heard screaming at a riverbank, less than a mile away from the camp.
According to the Daily Mail, he was covered in bites and stings from being in the wilderness for more than a week.
Maykool says that he survived by following a pack of monkeys. He says that the monkeys gave him fruit to eat and led him to water and shelter.
"I started running, I was wearing sandals and I said, 'No, they would slow me down,'" he said. "I threw away the sandals, then the cell phone and my flashlight. And after running so much, I stopped under a tree and I started thinking. What had I done, what was I doing? And when I wanted to get back it wasn't possible."
Acuna says that the night before he was found, he prayed that somebody would save him. He says that while he does not believe in shamans or the culture of the Bolivian jungle, he believes that God was responsible for him being saved.