Missing tramper Shelley Crooks stayed alive by eating bugs

  • 11/02/2017
Missing tramper Shelley Crooks stayed alive by eating bugs
She went missing for six weeks on the West Coast (Supplied/NZ police)

A woman found after being missing for six weeks near Punakaiki on the West Coast, says she survived by eating bugs and plants.

Mother-of-four Shelley Crooks, 36, set out on a four-day walk in the Mt Bovis area in December but became disoriented and injured a leg.

Speaking to NZME, she said she had been without medical supplies or an emergency beacon and had food rations for just four days.

"My pack had three tins of baked beans with sausages, three packets of dried noodles, a small tin of condensed milk and 10 sachets of soup. It lasted about two weeks. I then had to survive off bugs and plants," she told the media outlet.

"I was immobilised for weeks after I'd run out of food and done damage to my legs."

Ms Crooks had intended to do the Punakaiki trek but ran into problems because of a change in the weather and not letting her friends know of a change in her plans.

She called it the "biggest mistake of my life".

She was found last Sunday when conservation volunteer Alex Morley saw her by a riverbed with the disoriented Ms Crooks believing him an angel, NZME reports.

She was then picked up by the West Coast Rescue Helicopter and flown to Greymouth Hospital.