A THREE-YEAR-OLD boy was miraculously found safe and well after being lost in the Australian bush for several days.
Anthony 'AJ' Elfalak was reported missing from his home in rural New South Wales on Friday morning, leading to a frantic large-scale search for the toddler.
Family, volunteers and police, including dogs and mounted units, police divers and a helicopter unit searched non-stop for the missing boy, assisted by ambulance, fire services and the Volunteer Rescue Association, and hopes that the child would be found well were dwindling as temperatures dropped and days passed without any sign.
Incredibly, three days later on Monday morning, 6 September, a helicopter unit found little AJ safe and well, splashing around and drinking water from a stream.
The New South Wales Police Force shared the moment the three-year-old boy was discovered-- less than 500m from his home in Hunter-- by the AirPol unit.
The video shows the thick underbrush which would have made locating the boy extremely difficult-- before a man can be heard over the radio exclaiming "I've got the boy!"
— NSW Police Force (@nswpolice) September 6, 2021
AJ can be seen sitting in a stream and using his hands to bring water to his mouth, wearing a muddied white sweater; an AirPol member then calls out his coordinates to let rescuers on the land reach the child.
As reported by Sky News, AJ, who is autistic and does not speak, was found healthy apart from some cuts, nappy rash and ant bites.
His mother told reporters that the family feel "so blessed .... so happy that he's here, he's with us, he's safe and well and healthy.
"That's all that matters."
She thanked everyone who joined the search for their young son.