A seven-year-old boy who spent a freezing night lost in the wilderness says a friendly kangaroo is the reason for his survival.
Simon Kruger was winched to safety yesterday, nearly 24 hours after he went missing in the Deep Creek Conservation Park, on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula.
He and his family were having lunch at Deep Creek on Saturday when he wandered off into scrub.
“He was playing outside, picking up sticks and he saw a wallaby walk by and he followed it into the bush,” Simon’s father Etienne Kruger said.
Simon said he picked flowers for his mother before coming up close with a local.
“A kangaroo came closer to him and ate the flowers from him, and the kangaroo fell asleep next to him,” Mr Kruger told 7News.
“I think God sent a kangaroo to keep him warm.”
The boy’s mother Linda said: “I think it was a miracle, when I smell his jacket, it’s kangaroo – bush and kangaroo.”
Police mounted a huge search on Saturday night, even using parachute flares to try and guide Simon to them.
“I saw the helicopters, but they couldn’t see me,” Simon said.
He was spotted nearly 24 hours after he disappeared and winched back to safety and into the arms of his elated parents.
Although Simon’s parents will now be keeping a closer eye on him, they say the weekend’s events won’t stem their son’s sense of adventure.
“Hopefully he’ll refer to it as an adventure, so we’ll keep it at that, a bit of a jungle book story,” Mr Kruger said.