Vietnam: 'Tarzan' Father and Son Discovered Living in Jungle Tree House 40 Years After Fleeing US Bombs
Ho Van Thanh had lived in the jungle since 1971 (Thanh Nien News)

A father and son have been found living in the jungle 40 years after they fled their home to escape US bombs.

Ho Van Thanh, 82, took his then-infant son Ho Van Lang into the jungle after American troops bombed his home, killing his wife and two other children.

Lang, now 41, has lived in a tree house with his father in the jungle since 1971, 16 years into the 20-year war. They were discovered around 40km into the jungle by people from a nearby village.

Thanh struggled to walk and could speak a little of their Cor ethnic minority language. His son was in good health, but could speak just a few words.

Local media showed Lang dishevelled and wearing just a loin cloth after being collected by authorities.

The treehouse they lived in was around six metres from the ground and was located near a stream. The pair used bark to make pants and made their own tools, including knives, axes and arrows.

According to reports, they ate corn, wild leaves and had farmed a one-hectare field to grow sugarcane. They also kept a small fire in the treehouse to keep warm and smoked tobacco they had planted themselves.

Wants to escape to forest

Unbeknownst to Thanh at the time of the attack, his youngest son Ho Van Tri, who was born the day his home was bombed, survived - his uncle had come to the house and rescued him, reports

He tracked down his father and brother 20 years ago, but could not convince them to come home, local news website VnExpress said.

Thanh is currently receiving treatment in hospital and photos show that doctors tied him to the bed with thin wires to prevent him from escaping. Doctors said neither father nor son is suffering from any diseases.

Speaking to Australia's Associated Press, Tri said: "My father is very weak and the doctors are taking care of him, but my brother's health is fine even though he looks very thin."

Ho Ven Bien, Thanh's nephew, added: "My uncle doesn't understand much of what is said to him, and he doesn't want to eat or even drink water.

"He's very sad. He doesn't say anything now. We know he wants to escape my house to go back to the forest so we have to keep an eye on him now."

A local villager said he could not believe the pair had survived for so long, with most people believing them to be dead: "No one could imagine Thanh and his son could live 40 years in isolation in the hard conditions of the jungle."

Vietnam jungle
Father and son who fled Vietnam War bombs have lived in jungle ever since (wiki commons)