A man tagged real-life Tarzan who spent over 40 years living in the jungle isolated from other people has died at the age of 52.
Ho Van Lang died of liver cancer 8 years after he was reintergrated into the civilised world, and his friend said modern life was damaging to him.
Ho Van Lang’s family fled civilisation when a US bomb killed their father Ho Van Thanh’s wife during the Vietnam War in 1972.
Lang, his brother Tri, and his father Ho spent most of their lives deep in the Vietnam jungle because his dad had a “profound phobia of returning as he did not believe that the Vietnam War was over”.
The family ate monkeys, snakes, lizards and any other creature they could get their hands on while living in the jungle. As for clothing, they wore clothes made from tree barks.
Lang lived with his father for decades in the forest of what is now known as the Tra Bong District before they were found by locals collecting firewood.
They reportedly thought the war was still going on until they were brought back to civilisation in 2013 when Lang’s father became sick.
After they left their isolated life in the jungle, Lang lived with his father in a small Vietnamese village for eight years.
For 41 years, Lang didn’t know that females existed.
When questioned if he knew what a female was, he said that his father had never explained that to him.
Lang has now succumbed to liver cancer and passed away on September 6, 2021.
His friend Alvaro Cerezo, an explorer who returned to the jungle with Lang to live there for a week together, believes “modern life” probably had fatal consequences.
Cerezo said: “I’m so sad to see him go, but for me, his passing is also a liberation because I know he was suffering in the last months.
“He was a beautiful human being, to forget him will be impossible, I will miss him every day.
“But I didn’t like seeing him living in civilisation. I was always concerned that he and his body wouldn’t be able to handle such a drastic change.
“He had spent all his life living in the jungle and then came to live in the “civilised world” where he started eating processed foods and sometimes even drinking alcohol.”
Describing his friend, Cerezo said: “He was the most fascinating person I ever met and extremely sweet at the same time. When we were surviving together in the jungle, everything that would take me hours to achieve, he could do it in seconds.
“He was a little kid with the skills of a superhuman.”