Celebrity hiker dies of suspected hypothermia in central Taiwan

01/21/2019 08:29 PM
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Image taken from Gigi Wu
Image taken from Gigi Wu's Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/ggwu.wcy

Taipei, Jan. 21 (CNA) An internet celebrity from Taipei renowned for taking photos of herself in a bikini after hiking up mountain peaks across Taiwan died Monday from suspected hypothermia, after a fall in central Taiwan, Nantou County Fire Department said that day.

Identified as Gigi Wu (吳季芸), the woman's body was found in a gorge at Penjushan at about noon, but rescuers said she showed no signs of life by the time they reached her, according to Lin Cheng-yi (林正宜), head of the Third Squadron of the Nantou fire department.

Wu called for assistance on her satellite phone on Saturday, indicating she was in distress and unable to move after falling into a 30-meter deep gorge at Penjushan.

However, poor weather conditions prevented the rescue team deployed to find Wu from using a helicopter so they set out on foot.

The hiker was found dead 43 hours after the distress call and is believed to have died of hypothermia.

Rescuers are currently transporting her body to an open flat area for an airlift, the Nantou department said.

According to the Chinese-language Apple Daily, Wu entered Dongpu in Nantou County on Jan. 11, where she planned to hike the Batongguan Historic Trail in Yushan National Park until Jan. 24.

She apparently did not have a permit to hike Yushan mountain range and was in violation of the law, the department said.

Wu, 36, gained fame online for hiking mountains across Taiwan and posting pictures of herself in bikinis on her Facebook page after completing a hike.

She had accumulated over 14,000 followers.

In a televised interview in July 2018, Wu said the bikini shots came about a few years ago when she lost a bet to a friend, and the punishment was to take pictures in a bikini after hiking up a mountain.

Wu said she had completed 100 hikes and worn at least 97 bikinis over the past four years.

As news of her death spread, hundreds of followers began posting condolence messages on Wu's Facebook page on Monday.

(By Wu Che-hao and Ko Lin)


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