Lost boy tells parents kangaroo kept him warm

2013-08-09 00:00

A SOUTH African father in Australia yesterday thanked God for sending a kangaroo to keep his lost seven-year-old son warm during a cold winter night.

South Australian police said Simon Kruger went missing in the Deep Creek Conservation Park, south of Adelaide, after wandering away from a family picnic shortly after 1.15 pm on Saturday.

A search party of about 40 people, including two rescue helicopters, searched for Simon, who was wearing just a fleece top and track pants and was not equipped for a night in the elements.

The search party continued their efforts through the night, operating using parachute flares, before a rescue helicopter spotted him about 500 metres from where he had gone missing nearly 24 hours earlier. He was winched to safety shortly after noon on Sunday, a police spokesman told CNN, having sustained minor injuries from his night in the wilderness.

But what has drawn the most attention about the episode is Simon’s account of how he survived.

“Dad, I’m okay — I slept under a tree and there were kangaroos,” were his first words to his father as he was reunited with his family, the Australian newspaper reported.

His father, Etienne, told Australia’s 7 News that his son had been picking flowers for his mother when a kangaroo approached him.

“A kangaroo came closer to him and ate the flowers from him, and the kangaroo fell asleep next to him,” Etienne Kruger told the network. “I think God sent a kangaroo to keep him warm.”

The boy’s mother, Linda Kruger, said her son’s safe return was one of the happiest moments in her life since Simon’s birth.

“I think it was a miracle, when I smell his jacket, it’s kangaroo — bush and kangaroo,” she said.

Etienne told the Daily Telegraph newspaper on Monday that his son was recovering well from his ordeal.“He’s had a nice shower last night and a good sleep,” he said. “He’s certainly got something to tell at show and tell now.”

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