US hiker found alive after two weeks in Hawaii forest

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In this social media image shows missing hiker Amanda Eller, second left, with her rescuers, left to right, Javier Cantellops, Troy Helmer and Chris Berquist, on Friday, at Makawao Forest Reserve on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. — AFP

LOS ANGELES, California — An American yoga instructor who spent two weeks lost in the wilds of Hawaii and survived on plants and water has been found alive.

Amanda Eller, 35, was rescued Friday beside a creek bed at the bottom of a ravine in a national forest on Maui after she was spotted by a helicopter.

She had been out on a hike when she vanished.

Her disappearance prompted a social media campaign to boost efforts to find her.

"Amanda has been found. She got lost and was stuck and slightly injured in the forest - way way out," reads a posting on a "Find Amanda" Facebook page created after her disappearance on May 8.

Eller, who also works as a physical therapist, has been in the hospital since her rescue.

A grassroots fund-raising campaign collected more than $70,000, and this allowed a helicopter to be chartered to look for her.

Eller's boyfriend was the last to see her. Police found her car at a parking lot near a hiking trail.

"She is just as strong as we always said she would be. We knew she could make it this long," people close to her wrote on the Facebook page, which was followed by more than 20,000 people.

During her ordeal, Eller lost around seven kilos (15 pounds), Javier Cantellops, one of the people who set out to search for her, told CNN. Eller's mother Julia said she suffered a fractured leg.


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