Seven-year-old Simon Kruger just wanted to pick up some sticks. But when he wandered away from his parents at the Deep Creek Conservation Park in Australia and got lost last weekend, it set off a desperate overnight search—one including 40 people, two rescue helicopters, and a mountain of worry for his parents.
According to Australia's 7 News, Simon's dad now says he most likely wandered too far after looking for sticks and then following a wallaby through the brush. When the search party finally found him the next morning, after nearly 24 hours of being missing in the cold outdoors, he was helicoptered to safety and reunited with his parents. His first words uttered after being rescued? Well, they were a little surprising—according to The Advertiser, Simon said: "Dad, I'm OK—I slept under a tree and there were kangaroos."
Pressing their son for more info, Simon said he'd been picking flowers in a bush when a wild kangaroo came up and ate some of them out of his hand. According to Australia's 7 News, the kangaroo then fell asleep beside him, staying by him all night long and keeping him warm as temperatures dipped to some 40 degrees.
“I think God sent a kangaroo to keep him warm," Simon's mom Linda told 7 News. “I think it was a miracle, when I smell his jacket, it’s kangaroo—bush and kangaroo.”
Now you might think a night alone in the woods (even if it is with a furry friend) might be enough to traumatize a kid for a while. But by all accounts, Simon's pretty much acting like the most resilient 7-year-old ever. "He just got up this morning as if nothing had happened yesterday," Etienne Kruger told the Telegraph. "He's had a nice shower last night and a good sleep. It's such a relief to have him back home and be back to normal."