How Aboriginal trackers helped find 3yo Aurora in bush
WHILE police and SES crews probed thick bushland in search of a missing toddler last weekend, grandmother Leisa Bennett had two Aboriginal trackers by her side.
They were her first port of call when she found out her three-year-old granddaughter Aurora Kyle had gone missing from a family property in Wildash, 30 kilometres south of Warwick.
"They have a skill and knowledge of the land that goes beyond what we know, beyond all scientific reason," Ms Bennett said.
"The first thing I did when I was driving to the property was get on to as many Murri trackers as I could and get them out there."
Ms Bennett said their skill and attention to detail proved "invaluable" in the search for her missing granddaughter, who wandered away from the house around 3pm on Friday afternoon.
"They were looking at which animals had passed through and they were really picking up the dog scent," Ms Bennett said.
"They actually followed Aurora tracks to one point but then they lost them."
The toddler was found the following morning with a heroic 17-year-old dog, Max, who kept Aurora company the entire night, as temperatures dropped to 15 degrees.
With Indigenous heritage in the family, Ms Bennett put her faith in the skills of the trackers who were with her throughout the entire search.
"They are really spiritually in tune with the land," she said.
"They kept reassuring us she is alive, she is here, we just have to find her.
"It was very comforting to have them there helping us."
One of the trackers with Ms Bennett was from North Queensland and the other is understood to live in the local area.
The Warwick Daily News attempted to contact the two men, who were unavailable for comment.
Warwick resident Teilah McKelvey said it was heart warming to see members of the Aboriginal community of varying ages help in the search.
"Some of them were middle aged but one woman was much older," she said.
Around 100 members of the local community offered their time on Friday night and Saturday morning to assist in the massive search and rescue effort.
There were also 64 SES volunteers from 11 different regions and around 45 police officers at the site.
The family have expressed their gratitude for the help and assistance of everyone involved.