Three-year-old girl who spent 24 hours alone with her pet dog after wandering away from her flood-ravaged Outback property is reunited with her family
- The little girl, 3, was today found after almost 24 hours in the flooded outback
- She was last seen at 2.30pm on Wednesday in a pink dress with her Jack russell
- She disappeared in the remote pastoral lease Noreena Downs Station in Pilbara
- The WA region is one of the most isolated sheep and cattle areas in the state
Three-year-old Matilda and her faithful Jack Russell terrier are home safe after spending almost 24 hours missing in flood-affected conditions in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
An extensive search for the girl culminated on Thursday afternoon when she was spotted by a helicopter 3.5km from her home at Noreena Downs Homestead.
The girl wandered off from the homestead, 70km from Nullagine, on Wednesday afternoon.
Three-year-old Matilda and her faithful Jack Russell terrier are home safe after spending almost 24 hours missing. She was covered in mud when reunited with her family (above)
Officers combed through bushland (pictured) to find the toddler, who was missing for more than 24 hours
Three helicopters, nine police officers, eight SES personnel and seven horses were deployed to search for her, along with staff from the Noreena Downs station.
Heavy rain from ex-Tropical Cyclone Blake had made search conditions challenging and filled a number of creeks surrounding the property.
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 Matilda was finally found with her faithful dog still by her side.
Newman, 150km away, suffered intense flooding during recent rainfall (pictured) that has made conditions difficult in the area
Officials said the girl was last seen around 2.30pm on Wednesday, and was wearing a light green top and pink dress.
She went missing in an area that covers some of the most remote cattle land in the state, leading police to call it a ‘very concerning’ situation before her dramatic rescue.
The family-run station in the East Pilbara region has been running since 1983, and like much of Western Australia has suffered intense rain this week.
Newman, 150km north of the station, recorded 143mm of rain in just 24 hours last Wednesday.
It caused flooding and road closures.
WA Police Acting Commissioner Col Blanch told ABC: ‘It’s a very challenging environment up there. There’s floods all around that area.
‘I know the family must be going through a terrible time whilst this search is ongoing, but I can assure the community that we’re throwing everything we have at it.’
The toddler went missing from Noreena Downs Station (pictured), a remote 368,000-hectare pastoral property in Nullagine.