A Vietnamese man who has been living in the jungle for the past four decades has died of liver cancer at age fifty-two, just 8 years after he had been reintroduced into society.
Ho Van Lang and his father Ho Van Thanh had fled to the jungle during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s.
Named the "real-life Tarzan", Ho Van Lang and his father lived a big portion of his life in the wilderness.
In 2013, the pair were reintroduced to the Vietnamese society and believed the Vietnam War was still raging on when they entered a village. They had decided to re-emerge after seeking medical help for Lang's father Ho Van Thanh.
Lang's friend, Alvaro Cerezo, had expressed concerns that living a "modern life" may have been attributed to his growing health conditions as he started eating processed foods and sometimes drank alcohol.
Cerezo said: "I'm so sad to see him go, but for me, his passing is also a liberation because I know he was suffering in the last months.
"He was a beautiful human being, to forget him will be impossible, I will miss him every day. But I didn't like seeing him living in civilization. I was always concerned that he and his body wouldn't be able to handle such a drastic change."
Lang's father Thanh, then a soldier, fled with his infant son to the jungle during the war in 1972 after he lost his wife and 2 of his children in the bombing.
For decades, the father-son duo lived in the forest of what is now known as the Tra Bong District before they were found by locals looking for firewood.
It was said that the pair survived in the wilderness by foraging fruit and cassava from the forest and planting corn.
They made loincloths from tree bark and lived in a timber hut that was raised five meters off the ground.
When they were found in August 2013 following a 5-hour search, the father could speak a little of the minority Cor language, but the son knew only a few words. The pair also went through medical check-ups as a first step to being reintegrated into mainstream society.
Authorities reported that it was Langs' older brother Ho Van Try who encouraged the pair to return to civilization when Thanh's health began to deteriorate in 2013. Thanh died of an unknown cause in 2017.
Lang recently died of liver failure which Cerezo believes was brought on by integrating back to society.
During their friendship, Cerezo recorded on camera some of Lang's most vulnerable, emotional, and beautiful moments, including his time in the jungle and then adapting to civilized life.
"We spent 1 week living at his jungle-home in the same way he had during the past 4 decades. He was the most fascinating person I ever met and extremely sweet at the same time. When we were surviving together in the jungle, everything that would take me hours to achieve, he could do it in seconds.
"He was a little kid with the skills of a superhuman."
Rest in peace.