Thieves Tied To Tree With Deadly Fire Ants For Three Days
Bolivian authorities say Amazon villagers nearly killed two men with venomous ants, tying them to a tree swarming with the insects for allegedly stealing three motorbikes.
Dr Roberto Paz told reporters in Cochabamba on Monday that one of the men remained in intensive care while the other had required dialysis for kidney failure.
The venomous ants, of the pseudomyrmex triplarinus species, live in symbiosis with the triplaris tree variety. Their venom has anti-inflammatory properties and is used as a traditional cure for arthritis.
A sister of one of the men told Radio Fides that villagers in Ayopaya held the two men, ages 18 and 19, for nearly three days, freeing them Saturday after relatives paid $3,700 (£2,211) as compensation for the motorbikes.
Otherwise, she said, the two would have been killed.