A LITTLE girl who wandered off miles from her home has today been found safe with her pet dog after surviving 24 hours in dangerous flood conditions in the Aussie wilderness.
Matilda, 3, who was found covered in mud, and her faithful jack russell terrier were rescued after spending an entire day missing in flood-hit conditions in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
A huge search for the girl culminated this afternoon when she was spotted by a helicopter over two miles from her home at Noreena Downs Homestead.
The girl wandered off from the rural homestead, around 44 miles from Nullagine, yesterday afternoon, reports News.com.au.
Three helicopters, nine police officers, eight State Emergency Service workers and seven horses were deployed, along with a team of local helpers.
Heavy rain from ex-Tropical Cyclone Blake had made search conditions challenging and filled a number of creeks surrounding the property.
DOG STAYED BY HER SIDE
Police say Matilda was able to make her way through one of the creeks when the water subsided but the creek quickly rose again, trapping the girl and her dog.
The Pilbara community assisted with the search, including supplying riders for the horses, before the three-year-old was finally found with her loving dog still by her side.
Local police superintendent Kim Massam said he thinks Matilda became trapped by rising creek water.
He told ABC: "We think that Matilda had walked through a creek bed, which was close to her house [but] that creek rose due to heavy rains in the area, trapping Matilda on the other side of the creek from the homestead."
FOUND SAFE AND WELL
Mr Massam said the child's little dog was the real hero
He told the Australian: "It’s in the nature of pets to look after the people they love – That little jack russell stayed by her side and gave her that moral support to get through a night and a day in that harsh climate.
“That little dog will be the toast of the station tonight.”
Explaining why the girl ran off, he added: "She a young station girl – I’m sure she’s a free spirit and her backyard is a million acres.”
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