Skip to main content

Skippy, the guardian angel? Australian boy says kangaroo saved him during night lost in bush

By CNN Staff
updated 8:32 AM EDT, Thu August 8, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Boy, 7, says kangaroo helped him survive a chilly night in the Australian bush
  • He says he went missing from a family picnic after a kangaroo ate flowers he was picking
  • He spent nearly 24 hours lost in in bush while a search party looked for him
  • His father said the kangaroo was "a gift from God"

(CNN) -- A seven-year-old boy who spent a winter's night lost in chilly conditions in the Australian bush says a friendly kangaroo is the reason he survived.

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 1.15pm Saturday.

A search party of about 40, including two rescue helicopters, was mobilized to locate 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 meters from where he had gone missing nearly 24 hours earlier.

He was winched to safety shortly after noon 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 said 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, added: "I think it was a miracle, when I smell his jacket, it's kangaroo -- bush and kangaroo."

The Krugers had been confident throughout the search that their son would be found safe, with the father telling The Australian that his son was strong and resourceful.

He told the Daily Telegraph newspaper Monday that his son was recovering well from his ordeal, and acting "as if nothing had happened."

"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."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:39 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Tethered to an IV drip, 71-year-old Shin Young Ja lies under a thin fleece blanket, nursing a broken back and wracked with survivor's guilt.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Family members of the missing passengers are pinning slim hopes on floundering air pockets.
updated 12:14 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 5:34 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
The Hadza are one of the last communities of hunter-gatherers in the world -- but losing their land.
updated 9:22 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
In choosing to change a traditional practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle pressure. Unattractive to sponsors. Susie Wolff has heard it all.
updated 6:28 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
updated 5:40 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from a neighboring country.
ADVERTISEMENT