Michael "Tarzan" Fomenko, a recluse who lived for decades in the jungles of Cape York Peninsular, has died.

Highway statue calls for beloved Tarzan

CALLS were made yesterday to immortalise Michael 'Tarzan' Fomenko in a bronze statue beside the Bruce Hwy.

The proposal has resonated on social media among Far Northerners sharing fond memories of their sightings of the leather-skinned man half-running beside the road with a sugar bag slung across his shoulder.

The man who wrote the book on Mr Fomenko's life thinks he would have preferred to go quietly with no fuss, let alone a statue.

"I don't think Michael would have liked it, myself," Peter Ryle said.

"He was a very quiet bloke.

"I think you're better off having memories than a statue."

Mr Ryle published Michael 'Tarzan' Fomenko, The Man Who Dared To Live His Own Exotic Dream in 2015 in an effort to separate fact from fantasy in Mr Fomenko's amazing story.

"You've got to admire him," he said.

"He was one of the few people who lived the life he wanted to live."

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning remembered Mr Fomenko as a "striking young fellow, well built, always just in a pair of shorts with no shirt".

"He was certainly one of the more unusual inhabitants of this area," he said.

Cr Manning agreed a bronze statue was probably not on the cards.