‘Thank you for being her protector’: Parents of little Matilda, 3, who spent 24 hours lost in the Outback praise their Jack Russell Wolfy for ‘keeping her safe’
- Matilda Moule, three, was found after spending 24 hours in the flooded outback
- The youngster and Wolfy, her pet Jack Russell, had spent the night in wilderness
- Her mother Kate has praised their heroic pet pooch for ‘never letting us down’
- Helicopters, police and horse-riding cattlemen were called in to help the search
- The Pilbara region is one of the most isolated sheep and cattle areas in Australia
The parents of a young girl who spent a night lost in the Outback have thanked their trusty pet dog for keeping her company and ‘never letting us down’.
Matilda Moule was found by rescuers last Thursday almost 24 hours after wandering away from the remote Noreena Downs Station, in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
The three-year-old had been walking her Jack Russell terrier Wolfy when rain caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Blake hit, causing a creek to rise rapidly and leading both her and her dog trapped.
Her parents Kate and Nathan soon raised the alarm, resulting in an enormous search that included the use of mining helicopters, police and SES specialists.
In an emotional message, Matilda’s mother thanked all the rescue workers who helped to find her little girl – but reserved special praise for their family dog.
Three-year-old Matilda Moule and her faithful pet Jack Russell (left) terrier Wolfy spent almost 24 hours lost in the Australian Outback. The girl wandered off from her family’s million-acre homestead on Wednesday afternoon and was reunited with her family (above) on Thursday
Matilda’s parents Kate and Nathan have thanked their trusty pet Jack Russell terrier Wolfy (pictured) for keeping her company and ‘never letting us down’
‘Wolfy I always said you were a good little dog and you never let us down,’ Kate Poull posted.
‘Thanks from the bottom of our heart little fella for being her protector and keeping her safe, you are very loyal and special.’
Ms Paull also praised the man who spotted his daughter in the remote country from high in the sky, describing him as having ‘the eyes of a hawk’.
She admitted the last few days had been ’emotionally and mentally exhausting’, with enormous rainfall from the ex-Tropical Cyclone continuing to cause headaches.
Matilda’s parents and grandmother, who lives with the family on the rural farm, were all smiles when reunited with their little girl last Thursday.
The first thing Matilda had asked for when rescuers found her after 24 hours lost was ‘a hug from mum’.
The girl wandered off from her family’s million-acre homestead, 70km from Nullagine in WA
Officers combed through bushland (pictured) to find the toddler, who was missing for more than 24 hours
Bravery beyond her years: Little Matilda survived 24 hours in the harsh Outback alone with her dog (right) after wandering off from her family’s million-acre homestead
And despite her pink dress being covered in mud the youngster was embraced by her parents, before being given a big glass of water.
The three-year-old went missing in one of the most remote areas in the state, leading police to admit the situation was ‘very concerning’ before her dramatic rescue.
The family 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, causing flooding and road closures.
Kim Massam, the WA Police superintendent who led the rescue operation, said it was a dream ending to every parent’s worst nightmare.
Three helicopters, nine police officers, eight SES personnel and seven horses were deployed to search for her
‘She’s (now) at home on a station with her mum and dad and her grandma. The story could not end any better than that,’ Mr Massam said.
‘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.’
Despite their horror ordeal, Matilda’s mother said the youngster and her pet dog ‘are going fine and still love each other’.
The toddler went missing from Noreena Downs Station (pictured), a remote pastoral property near Nullagine