Man survives seven days with no food, shoes or shelter
A MAN lost in the harsh Mulga scrub east of Cunnamulla has a team of veteran trackers to thank for rescuing him after went missing more than a week ago.
Cunnamulla Senior Sergeant Isa Tolete said the 30-year-old abandoned his car about 50km east of the town and walked into the bush.
"He had no shoes and very limited clothing," he said.
"He kept warm by walking around at night and sleeping through the day under trees, logs and shrubs."
Police found the man's abandoned ute on Friday.
An investigation found the man had been reported missing from Brisbane and was last seen driving through Bollon at 1am, May 24.
Police quickly assembled a search party that included more than 40 police, SES volunteers and local farmers.
Importantly there were several trackers with detailed knowledge of the land.
Sgt Tolete said they were key to finding the man alive.
"They tracked footprints from his vehicle to Linden-Nebine Rd, where they found more prints."
Police held grave concerns for the man's life but fresh tracks and evidence of recent campsites spurred them on.
"We knew he was getting weak because the distance between his footprints was shortening," Sgt Tolete said.
"We had a farmer in a gyrocopter, we had farmers on quad bikes and motorbikes, and we had the stock squad officers involved."
As the trackers closed in it became obvious the man did not want to be found.
Sgt Tolete said the man attempted to flee the search party but eventually collapsed as he had not eaten for seven days.
It is understood the man survived by following property fence lines and drank water from stock troughs.
He is recovering at the Cunnamulla Hospital.
"He wanted to be out in the bush," Sgt Tolete said.
"He said he wanted to reconnect with his indigenous heritage and the land, but he is very lucky to be alive."