A Cambodian man who became wedged between rocks while collecting bat droppings for sale was rescued Wednesday after being trapped for almost four days.
Police said Sum Bora slipped Sunday while trying to retrieve his flashlight, which he had accidentally dropped in the small rocky hollow.
Bat droppings — guano — are used as fertilizer and sold for supplementary income by poor farmers, who sometimes try to attract bats to their property.
Cambodia’s Fresh News reported that when the 28-year-old failed to return home after three days, his worried family began to search for him. His brother discovered him in the Chakry mountain jungle in the northwestern province of Battambang and alerted the authorities.
Police Maj. Sareth Visen said about 200 rescue personnel took about 10 hours Wednesday to carefully extricate the trapped man by destroying bits of the rock that had pinned him.
The police officer said Sum Bora was freed at about 6 p.m., looking extremely weak, and taken to a provincial hospital.
The rescue was spearheaded by specialists from Rapid Rescue Company 711, which is connected to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s elite military bodyguard brigade. “RRC 711” also played a prominent role in rescue efforts when a seven-story building collapsed in June in the southern city of Sihanoukville, leaving at least 24 people dead.
Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 35% of its 15.2 million people living in poverty, according to a September 2018 report by the United Nations Development Program.