British pensioner, 72, survived three days lost in Thailand jungle by using a piece of grass as a straw to drink rain water from puddles

  • Leonard Barry Weller became lost while travelling to meet pals in Khon Kaen
  • Wife Tawee Leonard, 49, rang police after not hearing from him, sparking search 
  • Local hunter found an Leonard on Friday afternoon with his legs covered in cuts

A British pensioner who survived three days in a Thai jungle by drinking puddles through a grass straw said he has ‘never been so happy’ after being rescued and reunited with his wife. 

Leonard Barry Weller, 72, from Hastings, was travelling by motorbike to visit friends in Khon Kaen province, in the north east of the country, when he lost his way in dense woodland.

Amid searing temperatures of 35C, he climbed a tree to try and view a route to safety but was suddenly battered by a monsoon rain storm and had no other choice but to bed down for the night in the jungle, which is home to deadly snakes and bears.

Incredibly, the hungry pensioner endured three days without food and survived by using a piece of grass as a straw to drink rain water from puddles.

Leonard Barry Weller, 72, from Hastings, was travelling by motorbike to visit friends in Khon Kaen province, in the north east of the country, when he lost his way in dense woodland (Pictured: Leonard leaves jungle with his wife following rescue)

A local hunter finally found Leonard on Friday afternoon. He was seen emerging from the jungle unshaven and while his legs were covered in cuts

After becoming lost, Leonard climbed a tree to try and view a route to safety but was suddenly battered by a monsoon rain storm and had no other choice but to bed down for the night in the jungle, which is home to deadly snakes and bears

A rescue team climbed uphill and brought Leonard down safely before he was whisked away for a medical check 

Leonard said: ‘My feet are sore, otherwise I’m, happy. I’m hot but fine. I just admire the work that these people are doing, it makes me cry. They’re doing a good job.’

Worried wife Tawee Leonard, 49, called police after not hearing from her husband and a search party was sent out on Thursday and Friday.

A local hunter finally found Leonard on Friday afternoon. He was seen emerging from the jungle unshaven and while his legs were covered in cuts. His shirt was open and he had lost his shoes.

Leonard, who broke down in tears as he hugged his emotional wife, said: ‘I’m wonderfully happy, I’ve never been so happy in my life. 

‘My feet are sore, otherwise I’m, happy. I’m hot but fine. I just admire the work that these people are doing, it makes me cry. They’re doing a good job.’

Leonard, who has lived in Thailand for around 15 years, said he parked his motorcycle to walk up a hill but then forgot the direction back ‘so just kept on moving forward’.

He added: ‘It was getting dark so I made a leaf bed to sleep on, and when I was thirsty I drank rainwater from rock crevices. I just like to thank everybody for helping.’

The retired British ex-pat said he rode through an unfamiliar route and was not able to find his way home. He was unable to find any local villagers to ask for help.

Leonard, who broke down in tears as he hugged his emotional wife, said: ‘I’m wonderfully happy, I’ve never been so happy in my life

The retired British ex-pat said he rode through an unfamiliar route and was not able to find his way home (Pictured: At final stage of rescue)

Leonard’s Thai wife Tawee (pictured with Leonard) said: ‘My husband and I have been living together for three years. He likes to travel alone to different places but he always comes home at the end of the day.’

When locals found Leonard, he was lying on the ground on a leaf bed with no shoes on. 

They called police and the rescue team climbed uphill and brought him down safely.

Leonard’s Thai wife Tawee said: ‘My husband and I have been living together for three years. He likes to travel alone to different places but he always comes home at the end of the day.

‘The day he went missing, my husband said that he was taking the motorcycle with him to see the beautiful scenery of the sugarcane fields and paddy fields. 

‘I became worried when my husband was not home at midnight so I asked for help from the police station.’

Leonard was taken to hospital for a check-up but was otherwise unharmed. 

Thailand’s jungles are filled with tigers, leopards, bears and elephants, but rescuers said that particular forest was not considered to be dangerous.

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