The Queensland bush is a dry, hot, inhospitable place in January, with little shade and temperatures of more than 40 degrees C. (Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Stephen Currie, a 40-year-old Australian man, was missing and presumed dead — until he emerged from the wild on Wednesday, a full 28 days after he disappeared.
Currie was first reported missing on December 29, after he left his caravan near Chillagoe in northern Queensland to go for a walk and never returned.
On his own in the north Queensland bush, he had to contend with the harsh Australian summer, during which temperatures can reach more than 40 degrees C. Police and emergency crews searched by land and air, but doubted that he'd be able to survive in the dangerous landscape (the area is home to many hidden caves and mine shafts), especially given Currie's ostensible unpreparedness for the wild. The search was called off after a week.
"By all money, I thought he was gone," said Police Constable Vince Marcel.
But on Wednesday, Currie surfaced from the bush alive — albeit lean and unkempt — and flagged down a passing driver who brought him back into town.
According to the story he told officials, Currie had gone for a walk, but quickly got lost and disoriented. Luckily, he stumbled across a creek, where he was able to survive by eating butterflies, freshwater mussels and fruit.
"He made bedding out of bark and slept in sand covered with paper bark," Marcel told The Courier-Mail. "Each day he would go for a walk and see if he found a track and eventually he was found by one of the locals out on one. He just had a pair of shorts on — no shoes, no hat, no provisions.''
Currie is currently in hospital being treated for dehyrdration and malnutrition.
Via Brisbane Times