A 44-year-old outdoorsman stranded in a Canadian forest for more than three months was forced to eat his own dog to survive before he was rescued last week.
A Canadian man ate his dog in order to survive while stranded in the wilderness for months. His first words upon rescue last week were about wanting another dog. (Image source: Shutterstock)
Marco Lavoie lost his food and canoe to a bear while he was traversing the Nottaway River in Quebec this summer. The experienced outdoorsman was finally rescued on Wednesday, barely able to speak, suffering from hypothermia and dehydration, and weighing 90 pounds less, according to the Canadian news source QMI Agency.
A source familiar with Lavoie's harrowing tale, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told QMI Agency that Lavoie made the heartbreaking decision to kill and eat his German shepherd in order to survive. Lavoie apparently killed the dog using a rock a few days after the bear attack in August.
Despite the intense recoil factor, survival expert Andre Francois Bourbeau told the news agency Lavoie is alive today because "he made �good decisions" and "eating his dog was one of them."
“The conditions he would have had to live through, those could mentally break just about anyone,” Caleb Musgrave, a survival instructor with Ontario's Canadian Bushcraft, told the Montreal Gazette. “Up there, in the Canadian shield, there’s little plant life to live off so he would have been slowly, painfully dying when they found him. It’s an amazing feat that he was able to keep himself alive this long with almost no equipment.”
Lavoie set out on a solitary canoe trip July 16. It was supposed to take three months, but when Lavoie didn't check in with friends and family, they contacted authorities. A rescue helicopter found Lavoie last week, taking him to the hospital where he was listed in serious condition.
Sgt. Ronald McInnis told the Montreal Gazette that if he were found even a few days later, Lavoie would not have made it.
A Quebec Provincial Police spokesperson told the U.K.'s Daily Mail Lavoie's first words to authorities after being rescued were that he wanted a new dog.
"He is very ill and he can barely talk, but when our officers spoke to him in hospital the only thing he said was, 'I want to get a new dog,'" Richard Carbanneu told the Daily Mail. "I suppose he must feel very guilty about eating his pet, it is obvious he loved him very much and did not want to do what he did."
Carbanneu said Lavoie will likely remain in the hospital for a couple of weeks.