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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Lost Australian Hiker Survives For A Month On Butterflies

Hakuna matata?

by: Ted Alvarez

image: Genny Fullerton
image: Genny Fullerton

Butterflies are free, plentiful, and apparently delicious in a pinch. Or at least, I hope they are, since one Australian man, Stephen Currie, just survived for nearly a month by using the winged insect as the cornerstone of his diet.

In addition to surviving 100-degree temperatures and sparse water in the Queensland bush, Brisbane’s Courier Mail newspaper reports that Currie subsisted on mostly monarch munchies (with occasional supplemental wild fruit and freshwater mussels). Locals found him on Tuesday afternoon shoeless, shirtless, and 30 pounds lighter (do we smell a celebrity diet in the making?). Here’s more:
The 40-year-old was reported missing on December 29, sparking an extensive air and land search of the rugged terrain, including the area's mineshafts and caves: "By all money I thought he was gone,'' Mareeba police Det Sen-Constable Vince Marcel said.

"It's unbelievable. I phoned his mother straight away after (hearing) that. His family lives in Victoria and they've been calling me every couple of days. They were obviously beside themselves.''
But it’s really no surprise butterflies could keep someone alive.  Brown bears in the Rockies gorge on fatty army cutworm moths and it stands to reason that the fully-grown butterflies would provide similar levels of nutrition. As to the flavor question, the bears take great pains in autumn to range above the treeline and overturn rocks to get at these sluggish moths. So all that effort must mean the butterfly buffet is pretty tasty.

Read more: Courier Mail

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