Meet the real life Tarzan, who lived 41 years in the jungles of Vietnam - GulfToday

Meet the real life Tarzan, who lived 41 years in the jungles of Vietnam

Tarzan 1

Ho Van Lang being accompanied back to his home village in Tay Tra district, Quang Ngai, Vietnam. AFP

Gulf Today Report

The famous cartoon character "Tarzan" has appeared again, but this time in reality in Vietnam.

A Vietnamese man has been living in the jungle for more than 40 years. In 1972, he fled to the jungle after some members of his family were killed by an American bomb during the war. He has been relying on his surroundings and animals for food.


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The 49-year-old Vietnamese, Ho Van Lang, lived the life of "Tarzan" after the horrors of the Vietnam War forced him to flee with the rest of his family from the house, after an American bomb killed his mother and two of his brothers.  According to local media reports, Fan Lang, his brother Tre and his father settled deep in the forest in Quang Ngai Province.

Tarzan 2 Ho Van Lang smokes at his home. File/AFP

The trio lived entirely in the wilderness, eating honey, fruits, and animals, and building shelters for themselves.

They trio now live in small house very much close to the jungle.

Lang's father suffered all his life from a great fear of returning to his village, because he did not believe that the Vietnam War was over.

Media reported that the man lived "completely isolated" in the jungles of Vietnam with his father for 41 years, and had no idea that women existed.

He would often hide if he encountered villagers while staying in the woods.

Tarzan 3 Villagers display Ho Van Lang’s handmade tools and loincloths made of tree bark. File/AFP

Throughout his life, Lang ate snakes, monkeys, lizards, and other animals, but his favourite meal was "mouse head.

“They always ran away when they saw people from a distance,” said Alvaro Cerezo, a photographer who tracked down the family in 2015.

When Lang was asked if he knew what a female was, he said, “My father never explained it to me but I saw people in the woods recently.

"Most surprisingly, today, he still does not know the basic difference between men and women," Cerezo said.

"Lang is the most amazing person I've ever met," he said.

"He doesn't know what's good or bad.”

His brother, who left the woods long ago, described him, “Lang is a child in the body of a man. Doesn't understand many social concepts. The brother continued, “He does not know the difference between good and evil. He's just a kid, he knows nothing.”

“Most people know the good and the bad in life, but my brother does not,” he said.

Lang has been back home since 2015 and initially struggled to adapt to the village's culture, but he seems to be enjoying his new life.

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