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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 10:30 GMT
Canada man survives Rocky ordeal
Alberta Rockies
Mr Hildebrand was stranded in a high-mountain pass in the Rockies
A Canadian man has described how he survived trapped under his vehicle for four days in the Rocky Mountains after it hit a rock and landed on top of him.

Ken Hildebrand, a paramedic, said eating rotten animal meat, collecting moisture on tape and thinking of his family kept him alive.

Mr Hildebrand, who was out checking animal traps, said he kept wolves and coyotes at bay by blowing on a whistle.

He is in hospital with leg injuries, frostbite, dehydration and hypothermia.

Facing the prospect of dying of cold or starvation in freezing temperatures, Mr Hildebrand, who gives lessons in first aid in the Canadian province of Alberta, said he went into "survival mode".

"I knew I had some [orange] surveyor's tape. I took it and tied one end around my wrist. I threw it at different angles to make an X. If someone flew over they would see me no problem," he is quoted as saying in the Globe and Mail newspaper.

I thought of my family and God and that was it
Ken Hildebrand

He stayed alive by eating the animals he had collected, even though the rotting flesh made him sick, and used some of his surveyor's tape to get a little bit of the dew that dropped onto it.

"I ate a lot of dirt to get a little moisture," he said.

He was also harassed by wolves and coyotes, which he managed to ward off with repeated blasts on an emergency whistle.

"I thought of my family and God and that was it," he told the Reuters news agency from his hospital bed in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Mr Hildebrand, who has a weak leg due to polio, said he tried to lift the vehicle off his good leg using an axe, but did not have the leverage to move it.

Hiker rescue

He was trapped on 8 January in the high-mountain Crowsnest Pass area about 80 miles (130km) south-west of Calgary, Alberta, where he was checking animal traps in an area where ranchers had complained of wolves preying on livestock.

"He was stuck there for four days and three nights - almost 96 hours straight," Troy Linderman, director of Crowsnest Pass emergency medical services, is quoted as saying in the Globe and Mail.

"He had told some people where he was going, so people knew he was overdue," Mr Linderman said. "Several people looked for him, but they couldn't find him."

Mr Hildebrand was finally rescued by hikers on the fourth day of his ordeal.

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