A Quebec outdoorsman is lucky to be alive, after spending the last three months stranded in the woods in the Abitibi region.
A man being identified by media reports as 44-year-old Marco Lavoie set out in mid-July on a canoe trip on the Nottaway River, southeast of James Bay, but a bear damaged his canoeing gear and ate all his food.
He would typically go on lengthy, solitary canoe trips, but friends reported him missing earlier this month when he didn't get back home.
André-François Bourbeau, a professor emeritus at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi who has written a book on outdoor survival, says Lavoie managed to stay alive by eating anything he could find — but suggests the cold weather was about to make berries harder to find.
"He's going for berries, and anything he could find," Bourbeau says. "Berries, frogs, rabbits, fish. But even if you eat fish, you still starve."
Bourbeau says he was living on a few hundred calories a day — while the average person takes in about 3,000.
He was unable to walk when he was spotted by a passing helicopter yesterday morning, and may have had as little as days to live in the cold forest.
He was taken to hospital in serious condition, having lost about half of his body weight.