Vietnam pair coaxed out of jungle

  • 9 August 2013
  • From the section Asia
Media captionHo Van Lang was said by officials to only know a few words of the local Cor dialect

A Vietnamese father and his son who fled to the jungle during the war four decades ago have been persuaded to leave, officials say.

Ho Van Lang and his 82-year-old father reportedly shunned contact with the outside world after three family members were killed by a landmine.

For most of their time in the jungle their whereabouts was unknown.

They were discovered living in dense foliage in central Quang Ngai province and were barely able to communicate.

Mr Ho was said by officials to only know a few words of the local Cor dialect.

Vietnamese media reported that Mr Ho's brother succeeded in tracking the pair down 20 years ago, but had not been able to persuade them to return to modern society.

Local media initially reported that the 82-year-old's wife had been killed by the mine, but it subsequently emerged that it was in fact his mother and her two grandchildren.


While in the jungle, the pair wore only loincloths and used a homemade axe to chop down trees. They survived on corn, fruits and cassava roots from the jungle.

They lived in a tree house, five metres above ground, where they kept arrows for hunting and knives for killing animals.

The older man kept his military trousers neatly folded in a corner as well as the little red coat his son was thought to have been wearing when they fled.

A party of local people who discovered them were reported to be startled by their wild appearance and outlandish gestures.

They reported their find to the leaders of a local commune, who deployed a team to track them down.

After a five-hour search on Thursday the team located the father and son in their tree house.

Officials say that Mr Ho fled to the jungle after being traumatised by the mine explosion.

The pair are now being given medical checks as the first step in the process of reintegrating them into society.

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