Florida man rescued after spending night in woods, fighting off wild hogs

FWC says worker was separated from group in Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – A man was rescued Friday afternoon after getting lost and spending more than 24 hours in the woods, and at times, fighting off wild hogs.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Greg Workman says Carlos Pedroza was working with an independent contractor to kill invasive plants when he was separated from his group in the Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area.

The area is about 32 miles southeast of St. Cloud in Osceola County.

FWC said Pedroza vanished Thursday at around 11 a.m. after the rest of his crew finished lunch.

"He had a GPS unit, and the GPS unit failed," Workman said. "And he got turned around and the rest is history.

Pedroza told FWC rescue crews he wandered the wooded and swampy areas and got even more disoriented.

Afraid of the wildlife, which includes alligators and wild boars, he decided to spend the night in a tree.

"He had to fight bugs all night," Workman said. "He got a lot of bug bites on him, and a few wild hogs came up underneath him, and he had to shoo them away. Because were basically in the middle of nowhere."

Sky 6 captured Pedroza being reunited with his family at noon Friday, when Workman said he requested something he said he had been craving since Thursday.

"'You know what I'm dreaming of?' he said and I said, 'no, Carlos what were you dreaming of?' He said, 'I could just see visions of an ice cold Pepsi with ice dripping off of it.'"

Pedroza's supervisor told him his crew would be using radios in addition to the GPS location units in the future. 

About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.